Week in Review: Feb. 9

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news, and upcoming events.


Industry News

Food May Influence Cancer Spread

There is mounting evidence the food on your plate can alter cancer's growth and spread, say Cambridge scientists. Animal research, published in the journal Nature, showed breast tumors struggled without the dietary nutrient asparagine. It is found in the foodies' favorite asparagus, as well as poultry, seafood, and many other foods. In the future, scientists hope to take advantage of cancer's "culinary addictions" to improve treatment. Via BBC.

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A Tiny Pulse of Electricity Can Help the Brain Form Lasting Memories

A little electrical brain stimulation can go a long way in boosting memory. The key is to deliver a tiny pulse of electricity to exactly the right place at exactly the right moment, a team reports in Nature Communications. "We saw a 15% improvement in memory," says Michael Kahana, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and an author of the study. The approach hints at a new way of treating people with memory problems caused by a brain injury or Alzheimer's disease, Kahana says. But the technology is still far from widespread use. Via NPR.

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Hot Tea Linked to Esophageal Cancer in Smokers, Drinkers

If you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol daily, you may want to consider letting your tea cool before you enjoy it. Drinking tea while it's too hot could increase your risk of esophageal cancer, a new study suggests. In the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, drinking "hot" or "burning hot" tea was associated with a two- to five-fold increase in esophageal cancer, but only in people who also smoked or drank alcohol. Via CNN.

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Breast Cancer Treatments Can Raise Risk of Heart Disease, American Heart Association Warns

The American Heart Association issued a stark warning for women with breast cancer: Lifesaving therapies like chemotherapy and radiation can cause heart failure and other serious cardiac problems, sometimes years after treatment. The organization said patients and doctors shouldn’t avoid the treatments but instead take steps to prevent or minimize the cardiac risks. It stressed that breast cancer survivors can improve their chances of a long, healthy life by exercising regularly and sticking to a healthy diet. Via Washington Post.

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Women Are Unnecessarily Suffering and Dying from Heart Disease, New Report Says

Women urgently need to catch up to men in Canada's health care system because they are suffering and dying unnecessarily from heart disease, according to a new report. Heart & Stroke released a report titled "Ms. Understood" that describes how women are at greater risk than men of not having their disease diagnosed and treated. Women are five times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer, the report's authors say. But two-thirds of heart disease clinical research focuses on men. The reasons for the disparities are varied. Overall, women's hearts are smaller than men's. But there are other differences, said Karin Humphries, scientific director of the BC Centre for Improved Cardiovascular Health and one of the report's authors. Via CBC.

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Mayo Clinic News

Gone with a Shot? Hopeful New Signs of Relief for Migraine Sufferers

David Dodick, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, has been involved in multiple clinical trials with each of the four anti-CGRP antibody treatments in development. And, he admits, he's optimistic. He has good reason to be: Each of the therapies decreases migraine frequency by at least one to two days per month. "In a field where, over time, the progress and pace of research in understanding the underlying biology and mechanism of disease has been slow, this was very exciting," he says. Via NPR.

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Mayo Study Finds Weight Loss Can Be Achieved by Standing Instead of Sitting

Looking to lose weight? Try standing instead of sitting, particularly while on job. That's the conclusion reached by Mayo Clinic researchers in a new study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology. The study found that American adults could lose more than 5 pounds annually—and 22 pounds over four years—by converting six hours of sitting into standing. While that may be easier said than done, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., senior author and chair of preventative cardiology at Mayo Clinic, says the first systemic review of sitting/standing could help address the nation's obesity epidemic, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among other things. Via Post-Bulletin.

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The Gut Microbiome and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Understanding the Connection

In an interview with Rheumatology Advisor, Veena Taneja, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Immunology in the Department of Immunology and Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, discussed the latest insights about the association between the gut microbiome and RA. Via Rheumatology Advisor.

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Standing for 6 Hours Burns an Extra 54 Calories

For the study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers pooled data from 46 studies involving 1,184 people. Ten of the studies were randomized trials. The average age of participants was 33, and 60% were men. “The benefit is modest,” said the lead author, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. “But it shows that the body doesn’t ask you for much.” “Break that ‘doing nothing’ moment a few times a day,” he added. “Just standing up and moving around and then sitting down again is helpful.” Via NY Times.

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Infectious Diseases A to Z: Flu Versus the Common Cold

Influenza and the common cold are respiratory illnesses caused by viruses. The more intense flu symptoms tend to come on more abruptly than the gradual, more mild symptoms of a cold. Nipunie Rajapakse, M.D., a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic, explains these two viral illnesses. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.

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