August 16, 2013

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights

By Karl Oestreich



August 16, 2013

Mayo Clinic in the News is a weekly highlights summary of major media coverage. If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Emily Blahnik with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.

Thank you.

Karl Oestreich, manager enterprise media relations

ABC News
Grandma Gives Birth to Twin Granddaughters
by Liz Neporent

Talk about a labor of love. Susie Kozisek, an Iowa mother of four, ages 20 to 30, gave birth to her own twin granddaughters, Hallee and Hadlee.  Kozisek, 53, acted as a gestational carrier for her daughter, Ashley Larkin, because Larkin has pulmonary hypertension and cannot get pregnant. Before giving birth to the twins in July, she was also the gestational carrier for Larkin's older daughter, Harper, born in June 2011…Dr. Jani Jensen, the Mayo Clinic fertility doctor who performed the in vitro fertilizations for the family, said the circumstances surrounding the twins' birth were extremely uncommon. "It's usual for a mother to act as a gestational carrier for her own child and she was at the older end of the spectrum for pregnancy," Jensen said.

Reach: is the official website for ABC News.

Context: Jani Jensen, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic reproductive endocrinologist.  Mayo Clinic's Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility manages complex problems related to infertility, fertility preservation, recurrent pregnancy loss, amenorrhea, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease, premature ovarian failure, congenital uterine anomalies and risk of genetic disorders in offspring. These specialists offer an integrated approach to diagnosis and treatment, which may include evaluation by doctors in other specialties and extensive diagnostic testing and counseling. A collaborative approach includes the woman and her partner as part of the health care team.

Additional Coverage: NY Daily News, Sioux City Journal, Guardian Express, Headlines & Global News, KGTV Calif., UPI, Good Morning America Yahoo!, Examiner,, BabyCenter, OneHallyu, Daily Mail UK, ABC News Radio, Globe Gazette, Post-Bulletin

Public Affairs Contact: Kelley Luckstein

Heart Murmur Leading to Leaky Valves May Need Immediate Surgery
by Michelle Cortez

People with damaged mitral valves, which allow blood to flow backward in the heart, live longer and healthier lives if they get immediate surgery to repair a severe defect rather than wait for symptoms to appear…Getting the operation within three months boosts survival by 45 percent over a decade for those with valve regurgitation that hasn’t caused symptoms, the study found. The safety and success rates for surgical repair have risen dramatically in the past decade, said Rakesh Suri, a cardiovascular surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Circulation: Bloomberg has 2,300 media professionals in 146 bureaus across 72 countries. Bloomberg delivers its content across more than 400 publications, over 310 million households worldwide through Bloomberg Television and 500,000 in the New York metro area and 18.5 million subscribers through satellite radio.

Additional Coverage: Chicago Tribune, HealthDay, WebMD, MedPage Today,, News Medical, 2 Minute Medicine, US News & World Report

Context: New research findings appearing in  the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)ndicate that early mitral valve surgery appears to be associated with greater long-term survival and a lower risk of heart failure than watchful waiting for a distinct event such as symptoms or indications of heart dysfunction before doing such surgery. Rakesh Suri, MD, DPhil, Mayo Clinic, and colleagues found that treating mitral valve with degenerative regurgitation with surgery soon after diagnosis was associated with longer life and less risk of heart failure compared with watchful waiting.

Public Affairs Contacts: Traci Klein, Sharon Theimer

Study: Heavy coffee drinking in people under 55 linked to early death
by Elizabeth Landau

The latest study, published in Mayo Clinic's Proceedings, found an association between drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week and an increased risk of death from all causes, in people 55 years old and younger. One cup of coffee is 8 ounces…"If you consume coffee, enjoy it," Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic said. "But I wouldn't necessarily recommend taking it up if you don't like it." A lot of people already consider it a regular part of their lives. For nearly two-thirds of Americans, the daily coffee routine is just habit.

Reach: has 74.2 million unique visitors to its website each month.

Additional Coverage: USA Today, Prevention, Huffington Post, HealthDay,, SBS Australia, WSYR NY, Everyday Health, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Telegraph UK, TIME, ABC News, 9News Colo., Cleveland Plain Dealer, El Pais, Diario Panorama, ABC News Radio

Context: Nearly 400 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in America. Drinking large amounts of coffee may be bad for under-55s, according to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. A study of more than 40,000 individuals found a statistically significant 21% increased mortality in those drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week and death from all causes, with a greater than 50% increased mortality risk in both men and women younger than 55 years of age. Investigators warn that younger people in particular may need to avoid heavy coffee consumption. No adverse effects were found in heavy coffee drinkers aged over 55.

News Release: More Than 28 Cups of Coffee a Week May Endanger Health in Under-55s

Public Affairs Contact: Nick Hanson

Outside Online
The Real Reason Why Athletes Dope
by Michael Joyner

What if we're blaming the wrong people for doping? A new look into why athletes choose to dope raises serious questions about the fight against drugs in sport. It’s been a tough month for dopers—in all sports. Last week, Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 200 games based on “non-analytic” evidence of doping, as part of the “Biogenesis” scandal in south Florida.  His suspension is the longest doping suspension in major league history.

Reach: Outside Magazine covers outdoor sports, activities and the environment. The magazine has a monthly circulation of more than 689,000 readers. Outside Online has more than 105,000 unique visitors to its website each month.

Additional Coverage in Outside Online:
Outside Online
Who’s faster: Usain Bolt or Mo Farah?
by Michael Joyner

The Olympic 10,000-meter champion Mo Farah has challenged Usain Bolt to a 600-meter race for charity. If this race actually goes off, who'll be the favorite and how fast might the winning time be?

Context: Michael Joyner, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic anthesiologist. Dr. Joyner and his lab team are interested in how humans respond to various forms of physical and mental stress during activities such as exercise, hypoxia, standing up and blood loss.

Public Affairs Contacts: Sharon Theimer, Bob Nellis

NBC Latino
What you need to know about prescription drug abuse
by Dr. Joseph Sirven

Mayo Clinic Arizona Prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication that is prescribed by your doctor, but is used in a manner that is not intended by the prescribing doctor. Prescription drug abuse includes everything from taking a friend’s pain killer for your back ache to injecting medications to get high. Abuse of prescription drugs in the United States has been increasing.

Reach: NBC Latino is an English-language wesbite aimed at Hispanics featuring news and general interest information.

Context: Joseph Sirven, M.D., is chair of neurology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Sirven's research pertains to all facets of the diagnosis and management of seizures and epilepsy.

Public Affairs Contact: Jim McVeigh

What’s the Best Motivator for Health? Cold, Hard Cash
by Alexandra Sifferlin

It’s no surprise that financial gain can be a powerful motivator, but a variety of groups are using that knowledge in innovative ways to help people get healthier. Mayo Clinic researchers recently reported that participants in a weight-loss study who had the opportunity to lose or gain $20 a month lost an average of 9 lb. in a year, which was four times greater than the amount lost by those who didn’t have the financial incentive.

Circulation: TIME magazine has a weekly circulation of 3.3 million. Time, Inc. engages more than 138 million U.S. consumers in print, online and via mobile devices each month.

Context: Weight loss study participants who received financial incentives were more likely to stick with a weight loss program and lost more weight than study participants who received no incentives, according to Mayo Clinic research that will be presented Saturday, March 9 at the American College of Cardiology’s 62nd Annual Scientific Session.

News Release: Money Talks When It Comes to Losing Weight, Mayo Clinic Study Finds

Public Affairs Contact: Traci Klein

CHILDHOOD OBESITY: YMCA, Mayo Clinic team up, create camp
by Scott Wasserman

Childhood obesity is a growing problem, but the Mayo Clinic and YMCA are teaming up to help kids shed pounds and change lifestyles in a unique way in an effort to reverse the trend.  While Camp Wabi, located just north of Eau Claire, Wis., may look like a typical camp with the usual activities, it has a specific focus -- helping children who struggle with their weight learn a new way of living.

Reach: FOX 9 News (WFTC) serves the Minneapolis-St. Paul market.

Context: Zumba. Nutrition label reading. Swimming. All are part of creating healthy lifestyles for young people at Camp Wabi, a camp for kids who struggle with obesity. Teen campers and pediatrician John Plewa, M.D., talk about this special camp, a joint effort between Mayo Clinic Health System and the YMCA in Eau Claire.

Public Affairs Contact: Susan Barber Lindquist

Jacksonville Business Journal
Mayo Clinic Florida moving forward to leverage biobank specimens
by Ashley Kritzer

The Florida Biobank opened in September 2012, collecting samples from volunteer Mayo patients who have granted access to their medical records, completed a 12-page lifestyle questionnaire and donated a blood sample, from which DNA is extracted and stored for future use. “We are not going to profit from it, but we are going to use it to drive research forward,” said said Alex Parker, a Florida-based associate director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

Circulation: The Jacksonville Business Journal is one of 61 newspapers published by American City Business Journals.

Context: Participants who enroll in the Mayo Clinic Biobank are asked to grant access to their medical records, complete a 12-page lifestyle questionnaire and donate a blood sample, from which DNA is extracted and stored for future use. Participation in the Biobank is currently limited to people already receiving routine care at Mayo Clinic. It likely will eventually be opened to non-Mayo patients.

News Release: Mayo Clinic Opens Florida Biobank to Research Kidney Cancer, Other Diseases

Public Affairs Contact: Kevin Punsky

Star Tribune
Dayton chief of staff named to chair $6B Mayo board
by Jennifer Brooks

Rochester and the Mayo Clinic are a step closer to a $6 billion makeover. Friday was the first meeting of the eight-member board that will oversee Mayo's massive Destination Medical Center project. The multi-decade, multi-billion dollar project is intended to double Mayo in size and transform its hometown into a hip, attractive destination in its own right. Twenty years from now, Rochester “is going to be better, it’s going to be newer, it’s going to be more attractive, it’s going to be more dynamic and it’s going to have more people with more jobs,” said Gov. Mark Dayton, who traveled to the Mayo Civic Center to kick off the first meeting of the Destination Medical Center board – and to see his chief of staff Tina Smith picked as head of that board.

Circulation: The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 518,745 copies and weekday circulation is 300,277. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Additional Coverage: MPR, KAAL, KIMT, KTTC, KDLT, KSTP, KAAL, Post-Bulletin, Duluth News Tribune, Prairie Business, WCCO, KARE11, Star Tribune Video

News Release: Destination Medical Center Corporation Board Will Hold First Meeting This Friday

News Release: Governor Dayton Makes Appointments to Destination Medical Center Board

News Release: Bill George Named Mayo Clinic Representative to Destination Medical Center Corporation Board

Public Affairs Contact: Karl Oestreich

Star Tribune
A tireless search for a good night's sleep
by Allie Shah

With as many as 70 million Americans reporting trouble sleeping, health officials have redoubled efforts to unlock the mysteries of this essential bodily function. Still, they’re only beginning to learn how sleep works and why we need it. “We’re not even at the halfway point of our understanding of the complexities of sleep and health,” said Dr. Mark Hansen of the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester.

Circulation: The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 518,745 copies and weekday circulation is 300,277. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Context: Mark Hansen, M.D.,  has appointments in Mayo Clinic's Center for Sleep Medicine and Psychiatry and Psychology. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in sleep disorders evaluate and treat adults and children in the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The Center for Sleep Medicine is one of the largest sleep medicine facilities in the United States. Staff in the center treat about 6,500 new people who have sleep disorders each year. The Center for Sleep Medicine is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Public Affairs Contacts: Alyson Gonzalez, Nick Hanson

The Daily Circuit, Beyond smoking bans, New Zealand envisions being cigarette-free

… So, how is Minnesota doing on anti-tobacco efforts? The American Lung Association gives it a mixed report card. The state received an A for smoke-free air, but F's for tobacco prevention and cessation. Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic, and Erika Seward, a vice president at the American Lung Association, join The Daily Circuit to talk about what governments can and should be doing about smoking.

Reach: Minnesota Public Radio operates 43 stations and serves virtually all of Minnesota and parts of the surrounding states. MPR has more than 100,000 members and more than 900,000 listeners each week, which is the largest audience of any regional public radio network.

Context:  Richard Hurt, M.D. is director of Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center and a leading expert on tobacco-related issues. As a former smoker, he once smoked three packs a day. Dr. Hurt had his last cigarette on Nov. 22, 1975.

Public Affairs Contact: Kelley Luckstein

Pioneer Press
TPT's Mary Lahammer 'blown away' by response to MS reveal
by Amy Carlson Gustafson

On the Aug. 2 episode of "Almanac" on Twin Cities Public Television, political reporter Mary Lahammer revealed she has multiple sclerosis. She talked about living with MS with hosts Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola…Her doctor at the Mayo Clinic urged her to live with the disease for two years before going public, but she did confide in a small circle of folks, including state Rep. Rod Hamilton, who also has the disease.

Reach: The St. Paul Pioneer Press has a daily circulation of 208,280 and its Sunday newspaper circulation is 284,507. Its website had approximately 20.4 million page views (March 2013). Mobile page views on smartphones and tablet computers totaled more than 11.4 million in March 2013.

Previous Coverage from August 9, 2013 Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights

Context: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system, which normally protects your body, attacks the covering (myelin sheath) surrounding the nerves in your brain and spinal cord. These nerves send information from your brain and spinal cord to other nerves in your body, and myelin helps make this transmission efficient. MS can affect people of any age, although symptoms most commonly occur in people 20 to 40 years old. Women are twice as likely to develop MS as are men.

Public Affairs Contact: Karl Oestreich

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