January 31, 2020

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights for January 31, 2020

By Emily Blahnik

USA Today, Too much screen time for toddlers may lead to unhealthy behaviors growing up, study says by Joshua Bote — "The suggestion is that we as parents can improve our children’s health outcomes by reducing screen time when they are toddlers," said Mayo Clinic's Children Center pediatrician Kelsey Klaas, noting the study does not prove such outcomes. "Early childhood is a great time to establish healthy behaviors." The best way for parents to cut back on screen time, Klaas suggested, is to be active with their children. "As parents, we need to put down our own phones and other distractions, turn off the TV, and can also help by providing some ideas for games or activities," Klaas, who is unaffiliated with the study, told USA TODAY. "To be physically active, some amount of open play space, whether indoors or out, is necessary." Additional coverage: Arizona Republic

USA Today, Think coconut oil is good for your health? Here's what the experts are saying by Ashley May — Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program who is unaffiliated with the analysis, told USA TODAY the new data “strengthened the case that coconut oil is not the panacea” or cure-all that some people have claimed. …"Until we get some good evidence, we should be suspect of claims that something is healthy," Hensrud said.

USA Today, More than 100 genes tied to autism identified in large study by Ryan Miller — More than 100 genes associated with autism were identified in a "landmark study" that could help better understand what causes the disability, researchers say. In the large genetic-sequencing study, a team of researchers led by scientists at Mount Sinai and relying on international collaboration identified the 102 genes associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)…The condition is known as a spectrum disorder because an array of behaviors and their severity may vary depending on the individual, the institute says. Reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers are among some of the traits seen in early infancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Additional coverage: Chicago Sun-Times

USA Today, 'Everything now is experimental.' Here's how doctors are treating coronavirus by Grace Hauck — There are seven strains of coronavirus that infect humans, according to Greg Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group. Four are common colds, but three have "pathological significance": severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and, now, the Wuhan coronavirus, formally called the 2019 novel coronavirus. "This is the third one now," Poland said. "The previous two, SARS and MERS, were controlled with individual and population-level public health measures. No vaccine. No anti-viral. They were controlled with handwashing, face masks, isolation, etcetera. They’re not high-tech, sexy solutions, but they are basic." Additional coverage: Arizona Republic

CBS News, Do face masks really protect against coronavirus? by Caitlin O’Kane — As cases of coronavirus rise, some people are doing all they can to try to protect themselves against the potentially deadly virus — and the face mask industry is booming because of it. One surgical mask manufacturer ran out of its stock of masks in China and was working overtime to meet demand from worried Chinese citizens who were urged to wear masks in public.  But do these masks actually prevent illnesses like the coronavirus from spreading?  When it comes to protecting against the flu virus, "It can't hurt and it might help," the Mayo Clinic says.

New York Times, Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help? by Knvul Sheikh and Katie Thomas — “We don’t know which vaccine approach will be successful at this stage, so we have to try everything in our arsenal,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. In interviews, company executives said that partnerships with governments and philanthropic foundations were essential to developing vaccines for outbreaks because there are so many uncertainties. Additional coverage: Chicago Tribune

New York Times, Hooking the Reader Right From the Start: The Times Trilobites Column by Katherine Schulten — …In fact, part of the reason a site like the Mayo Clinic, or a column like Q&A, is appealing is that readers already know they will find just the practical information they need with little extra embellishment.

Washington Post, Chronic inflammation is frightening. Here’s what you can do about it. by Amby Burfoot — According to an article published last month in Nature Medicine, diseases linked to chronic inflammation are “the most significant cause of death in the world today,” accounting for more than 50 percent of global deaths. These include heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and dementia, among others…Although scientific exploration remains in the early stages, “We shouldn’t wait 20 years to take action,” said Mayo Clinic cardiologist Veronique Roger. “For the public health, we need to convince more people to make behavioral, lifestyle changes now.”

Today.com, What is Raynaud's disease? The disorder that causes white or blue fingers, toes by A. Pawlowski — “It’s an exaggerated response of the body to cold,” said Dr. Ashima Makol, a rheumatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “With cold exposure, the body is trying to pull blood towards the core and it wants to supply blood to the core organ systems, like the heart and the lungs, so the extremities suffer in the process.” Patients usually see the affected body parts turn pale white, then bluish-purple when the constricted blood vessels start relaxing a little bit, Makol said. There's more blood coming in, but it doesn't have enough oxygen in it, thus the blue hue. Finally, oxygenated blood turns the previously white areas red. "That red phase is associated with a lot of pain, discomfort, numbness, tingling, burning sensations before it completely normalizes," Makol noted.

Woman’s Day, Mental Health Issues Are the Menopausal Side Affect We're Not Talking About by Meryl Davids Landau — Luckily, thanks to the dedicated efforts of a few scientists (many of them women), experts have begun to make a clearer connection between erratic midlife hormones and serious psychological woes, but they still aren’t sure why these issues arise in the first place. Researchers suspect that dips in estrogen may cause disruptions in other hormones that can affect mental well-being, such as serotonin and dopamine, says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Women’s Health in Rochester, MN, and medical director of NAMS. The treatment for midlife mental health woes is often more straightforward than getting a diagnosis. Additional coverage: Yahoo! Lifestyle

Post-Bulletin, Longtime Mayo Clinic doctor leaves for med-tech position by Jeff Kiger — After more than 40 years at Mayo Clinic, a well-known doctor is leaving to take a job with a German medical device maker. Cardiologist Dr. David Hayes, who started at Mayo Clinic in 1979 and has served as medical director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network for many years, is taking the position of chief medical officer for Biotronik Inc. Biotronik is a med-tech company that creates cardiovascular and endovascular devices like stents. It's based in Berlin, with U.S. offices in New York City and Lake Oswego, Ore. Additional coverage: Cardiovascular Business, Becker’s Hospital Review

Post-Bulletin, Jennie wants a new kidney for Royce by Brian Todd — "This is our life," Jennie Schwanke said. "This is our world. This is where we spend most of our time." "This" is the second floor of the Joseph Building at Mayo Clinic Hospital — Saint Marys Campus, where Schwanke's son, Royce, gets dialysis four times a week.  Royce, 7, suffers from branchiootorenal syndrome and is currently in stage 5 kidney failure. He and his adoptive mother have been together now for about nine months, since Schwanke adopted him from China.

Post-Bulletin, Health officials: novel coronavirus resembles colds, flu by Paul John Scott — …Wuhan, sometimes referred to as "the Chicago of China," is home to hundreds of Global 500 firms and over 350 research institutes. Though Mayo Clinic in 2012 had announced a partnership between Mayo Medical Laboratories and the Wuhan-based medical testing firm Kindstar, Mayo Clinic Laboratories Marketing Channel Manager Suzanne Ferguson on Friday told Forum News Service that "we no longer have an official collaboration with Kindstar in Wuhan," adding that the organization "does not have any activities in Wuhan."

KIMT, Mayo Clinic on alert, monitoring deadly new coronavirus by Jessica Bringe — The CDC is closely monitoring developments while Mayo Clinic in Rochester says since doctors see patients from all over the world it’s on alert. Dr. Pirtish Tosh explained, “If we have a patient who we suspect of having this novel coronavirus we would anticipate putting that patient in our high consequences infectious disease unit and activating our core team to help us take care of them.” Dr. Tosh says there is still a lot to learn about the virus but so far research shows it spreads from person to person and can cause some pretty serious infections.

KIMT, How Mayo Clinic ambulances navigate the snow by Isabella Basco — 911 calls are constant - including in inclement weather meaning ambulance drivers will be hitting the winter roads.  "We would always try to stay on the main roads, if we ran into a situation where we had trouble navigating into less frequently traveled roads, we would seek assistance from the city and county to get to those places," Paul Drucker said.  These first responders have to be creative in their navigation.  "Sometimes it's a little quicker to take 6th street from downtown to the St. Mary's campus than it is to take 2nd street, on days like today, there's a steep hill to get up that way, so it might not work as well, so that's on example of streets we might use," Drucker said.

KAAL, VIDEO: Coronavirus spreads to the U.S. — The Coronavirus has reached the U.S. and a Mayo Clinic health official weighs in. Interview with Dr. Gregory Poland.

KAAL, Health officials: Two people being tested for possible coronavirus in Minnesota — Officials learned earlier this week the coronavirus spreads from person to person, but is not as contagious as measles. They also say those who appear to be at higher risk  The Mayo Clinic is monitoring the outbreak as well and making preparations to accept patients if necessary. "Mayo Clinic is one of many health care organizations that is prepared, with support from Public Health authorities, to care for patients with coronavirus. Within our service areas, we have plans for patient care and protecting staff. Mayo Clinic staff at all locations have been trained and are prepared to care for patients with serious infections. We know the public is concerned about the possibility of an outbreak. As always, we will treat patients with a suspected infectious disease with an abundance of caution. It is safe to come to Mayo Clinic."

KTTC, Wykoff man preparing for 2020 Iditarod by Ubah Ali — Damon Ramaker is bracing for a trip he most likely will never forget, as he represents the state of 10,000 lakes in Alaska for the 2020 Iditarod. The Iditarod race is an annual long-distance sled dog race that happens in Alaska in early March. Ramaker is a full-time emergency room nurse at Mayo Clinic- Saint Marys. "It's kind of random I stumbled into it, I've always been interested in dog powered sports," Ramaker smiled.

KTTC, 100-year-old woman returns to childhood home by Ubah Ali — It's a chance to walk down memory lane in a home that holds treasured memories. Nearly 101 year-old Barbara Hanlon is the daughter of Dr. William Benedict, a top ophthalmologist at Mayo Clinic in the mid 1900s. The once "Pill Hill" kid was given the opportunity to go back the home she grew up in 65 years later.

Star Tribune, Sleep cages and ice baths: The extreme lifestyle of local biohackers by Jeremy Olson — …And those infrared saunas? They don’t appear to be harmful and maybe they do some good, according to Dr. Brent Bauer, an internal medicine expert at the Mayo Clinic. But being healthy really doesn’t need to be that complicated, according to Dr. Michael Joyner, a human performance specialist at the Mayo Clinic. “All these things sound great,” Joyner said of the biohacks. “There’s a ring of what I call ‘bioplausibility’ to them.” But Joyner said it’s often hard to find evidence that biohacking practices actually work and that most Americans would be healthier if they just followed basic advice. “You need to go for a walk, not smoke, not drink too much, don’t eat too much,” he said.

South Florida Reporter, Regenerative Medicine Is Transforming Health Care — The recent breakthrough of regenerative immunotherapies, also known as CAR-T cell therapy, which beefs up the body’s ability to attack cancer is an example. And at the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic, a collective effort of experts involving multiple departments and divisions is driving this rapidly maturing field forward. “We are dropping the fiction part,” says Dr. Andre Terzic, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic.

ActionNewsJax, Doctor expects coronavirus to spread after second case confirmed in U.S. — Dr. Pritish Tosh is an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic. “Thankfully, we’ve been preparing for something like this for a long time,” Tosh said. Tosh said to prevent the virus from spreading, doctors need to ask patients with respiratory illnesses and fevers about where they recently traveled.

Arizona Republic, Novel coronavirus is now in Arizona. How should you protect your family? by Stephanie Innes  …At Valleywise Medical Center in Phoenix, it is standard practice in the emergency room to get a travel history from patients. But last week, hospital officials began asking patients specifically about China travel, chief medical officer Dr. Michael White said. Other hospitals have taken similar steps, including the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, HonorHealth, Abrazo Health, the Carondelet Health Network in Southern Arizona and Tucson Medical Center. Additional coverage: Arizona Republic

KEYC Mankato, Mayo Clinic Health System and PBS documentary addresses opioid epidemic by Gage Cureton — Mayo Clinic Health System partnered with PBS to produce a documentary on the ongoing opioid epidemic and screened the film at Minnesota State University, Mankato Wednesday. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70,000 people died due to opioid overdose in 2017, with 422 of those deaths being Minnesotans. Mayo Clinic Health System and PBS’s documentary “The Opioid Fix” aims to educate the public on the ongoing epidemic - both in our state and nationwide. Additional coverage: Mankato Free Press

Mankato Free Press, After tragic year, family thankful for hospice care by Brian Arola — Kathy Haag’s 2019 was marked by tragedy. The Mankato woman lost both her husband and grandson to illnesses months apart, with both spending their final days in hospice. The care they and their family received, she said, won’t soon be forgotten. She made sure of it Friday by delivering $5,738 in donations to Mayo Clinic Health System’s hospice program. “When they came in it’s just a calming feeling, an overall calm,” she said of hospice care. “That’s the word I usually use. It was just a relief and calm to know I had somebody there.” Additional coverage: KEYC Mankato

Austin Daily Herald, Chicago woman is 2nd US patient with new virus from China — …Mayo Clinic is one of many health care organizations that is prepared, with support from Public Health authorities, to care for patients with coronavirus. Within its service areas, Mayo has plans for patient care and protecting staff. Staff at all Mayo Clinic locations, including Mayo Clinic Health System, have been trained and are prepared to care for patients with serious infections. We know the public is concerned about the possibility of an outbreak. As always, Mayo will treat patients with a suspected infectious disease with an abundance of caution. It is safe to come to Mayo Clinic. Additional coverage: Albert Lea Tribune

Austin Daily Herald, Take on the ‘Passport to Heart Health’ challenge — Staying heart-healthy can be a challenge, especially when good intentions bump into real-life obstacles. Mayo Clinic Health System is offering the “Passport to Heart Health,” a virtual challenge that will test those good intentions and motivate participants to face life’s choices each day. Additional coverage: Albert Lea Tribune

Austin Daily Herald, Mayo Clinic Health System matching staff donations for PTTP event — As a sponsor of Paint the Town Pink, Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin will match funds raised in the Plunging for Pink event on Feb. 1. This event will be held at 12:30 p.m. at East Side Lake in Austin. Mayo Clinic Health System, which contributed an initial $1,500 to Paint the Town Pink, will match dollars raised by Mayo Clinic Health System teams up to $3,500, for a total donation of $5,000.

Winona Daily News, Merchants Bank gives to children at Mayo Children's Center and Ronald McDonald House by John DeLaRosa — A group of staff members from Merchants Bank in Winona recently donated over 240 “Cheer-Up Boxes” to children at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center and the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester. The feat was made possible by an internal pledge drive that raised more than $18,000.

La Crosse Tribune, Mayo physician caring for U.S. Women's Ski Team at FIS World Cup in Austria by Emily Pyrek — There is no distance Dr. Alecia Gende won’t go for her patients. Even if it requires a plane ride and 4,600 miles. On Feb. 1, Gende, a sports medicine and emergency medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System Onalaska, will depart for Hinzenbach, Austria, to care for the seven members of the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team — including Florence, Wis., native Nita Englund — at the 2019-20 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup.

WKBT La Crosse, St. Mary’s University, Mayo Clinic Health System enter partnership by Greg White — A local university is aiming to make its student-athletes healthier thanks to a new partnership. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic Health System are teaming up to provide more health options to athletes on campus. The Health System is giving the university resources including more athletic trainers. Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin

WKBT La Crosse, Flu virus more concerning than novel coronavirus in U.S., La Crosse health experts say by Jordan Fremstad  — “The more famous members of this would be SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome),” said Dr. John Ohoro, an infectious disease consultant with Mayo Clinic Health System. Ohoro said the mortality rate of SARS was around 15 percent and 35 percent for MERS. “This coronavirus, the reported mortality rate is only 3 percent,” Ohoro said. “It seems to be far less problematic than either of those to put that into perspective.”

WKBT La Crosse, Local doctors address risk factors of coronavirus by Greg White — While symptoms can be similar to the flu, there are are lot of things that are factors in the spread of the virus. “Not only having those symptoms important, it’s also important where have these patients been in the last couple of weeks or month or so,” said Dr. Daniel Desimone with Mayo Clinic Health System. The World Health Organization said this afternoon that they are not declaring a global emergency over the outbreak.

WKBT La Crosse, Wisconsin makes treatments for substance abuse more accessible by Molly Ringberg — One health professional says expanding access to medication-assisted treatments a big step for Wisconsin. “The message that really needs to be out there is that medication really can help with both opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. This can be an important tool that I’ve seen save lives,” said Laurie Logan M.D., Director of Addiction Services, Mayo Clinic Health System.

WKBT La Crosse, Flu remains widespread problem in Wisconsin, nationwide by Greg White — The flu is still a widespread problem across the U.S… In our area, Mayo Clinic Health System and Gundersen Health System says Influenza B being seen in highers levels than Influenza A.

WKBT La Crosse, Local hospitals, airports on high alert due to coronavirus outbreak by Molly Ringberg — Both Mayo Clinic and Gundersen Health Systems have protocols set in place for outbreaks like these. Mayo and Gundersen both say health providers are required to ask patients about their recent health and travel history, which has been common practice in many instances before the coronavirus.

WQOW Eau Claire, Mayo Clinic Health System in Barron expands its birth center.

WEAU Eau Claire, Sports Performance Training — As athletes prepare for spring sports, Mayo Clinic Health System will offer a Sports Performance Training program for college, high school and youth athletes. The 6-week program is designed to benefit athletes of all sports and skill levels.

Fortune, Major insurers are teaming up with a nonprofit to cut the price of generic drugs by Sy Mukherjee — Civica Rx was formed in 2018 with an intriguing mission and structure: Tired of high generic drug prices inside of the hospital setting, Intermountain Healthcare and massive hospital chains like Ascension, Trinity Health, HCA Healthcare, the Mayo Clinic, and others, set up Civica as a nonprofit to create and distribute certain generic drugs, focusing on treatments that face shortages or have experienced major price hikes.

Forbes, Medicare Will Now Pay For Acupuncture In Part Due To Opioid Abuse by Robin Seaton Jefferson — According to Mayo Clinic, “traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force—known as chi or qi (chee)—believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body's natural painkillers.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution, Study reveals why more than a week of keto may not be beneficial by Kiersten Willis — Researchers at Yale University have conducted a mice study to review the effects of the keto diet. They discovered that beyond a week, the benefits begin to cease…The results come after Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic voiced opposition to the diet. Hensrund, author of “The Mayo Clinic Diet Book,” said the keto is not the magic formula people believe it is. "People want to believe," he said. "They want an easy way out. They want the magic panacea."

Chicago Tribune, Sepsis: A team response to a potential killer — Our bodies are very good at fighting infection. The immune system reacts and attacks bacteria and viruses that make us sick. But sometimes the immune reaction is so strong that it damages the body. This is called a septic reaction or sepsis, and the mortality rate associated with it can be high. In fact, a new study suggests that sepsis is responsible for 20% of all deaths worldwide. That’s more deaths than are attributed to cancer. At Mayo Clinic, doctors like Kannan Ramar, M.B.B.S., M.D., are trying to change that with a sepsis response team in intensive care units. Their goal: to stop sepsis and save lives.

Chicago Tribune, With a shortage of obstetricians at rural hospitals, the answer may be: Call the midwife by Jeremy Olson — Midwives could save rural hospitals struggling with the challenge of being prepared 24/7 to deliver babies, a new Mayo Clinic study found. Mayo’s hospital in La Crosse, Wis., reported fewer surgical deliveries and birth complications requiring neonatal intensive care under a system in which seven certified nurse midwives provided round-the-clock staffing and coordinated with obstetricians on prenatal care for expecting mothers and their baby deliveries.

JAMA, Which Postmenopausal Women Should Use Testosterone for Low Sexual Desire? by Anita Slomski — Many clinicians aren’t as judicious. Juliana Kling, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, said she cringes each time a new patient tells her that she’s had testosterone pellets implanted into her buttocks by another clinician, often a naturopath or alternative medicine practitioner. “It’s very difficult or impossible to get a physiologic level of testosterone with pellets,” Kling said. She’s seen women whose off-label, high-dose testosterone use for low libido and other concerns has led to hair loss, voice changes, and even an enlarged clitoris. In some cases, the adverse effects are irreversible.

Yahoo! Finance, VADovations, Inc. Licenses Intellectual Property From Mayo Clinic to Develop a Novel Next-Generation Endovascular Cardiac Assist Device for Long-Term Use — VADovations, Inc., a company developing miniaturized cardiac assist pumps offering best-in-class blood handling properties, high performance and low cost, today announces an agreement to license intellectual property from Mayo Clinic for endovascular deployment of VADovations’ novel cardiac assist pump for long-term use in patients suffering with heart failure. This next generation technology is designed to avoid open surgical implantation while addressing the limitations of current blood pumps.

The Healthy, Do Placebos Work? Here’s Why Doctors Sometimes “Prescribe” Them by Amanda Gardner — Here’s where it gets confusing. There’s no one definition for a placebo. In the strictest sense, a placebo is a drug (or injection or device) with no active properties, according to the University of California, Davis. They’re commonly used in clinical trials as the “nothing” that a “something” (for example, a new treatment) is measured against, says Jon Tilburt, MD, professor of medicine and biomedical ethics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

WGN-TV, From healthy prep athlete to hospital bed fight for his life, suburban teen warns of dangers of vaping by Dana Rebik — In October, doctors from the Mayo Clinic collected biopsy samples of 17 patients around the country who had become sick or died after vaping use. They all showed what looked like a toxic chemical burn, similar to people exposed to poisons like mustard gas in world war one.

Albuquerque Journal, Giving voice to rare throat disorder by Joline Gutierrez Krueger — Suzanne Del Rosario is used to people offering her hot tea, a lozenge, a look of concern. It’s a kindness, she knows, but it’s not necessary, although she’s not one to turn down a free cup of tea….She has a rare breathing disorder called tracheal stenosis, a narrowing of the trachea, or windpipe, that causes breathing and vocal problems. Because no one knows the cause of her disorder, it’s called idiopathic – true for about 15% of all tracheal stenosis cases…Soon she will travel to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, to establish medical care there, far more convenient than Boston.

International Business Times, Scientists discover 'molecular switch' that can help repair damage to central nervous system Jeevan Biswas — One of the biggest challenges in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease is irreversible neural damage. However, a study by researchers from Mayo Clinic claims that a molecular switch with the ability to 'turn on' the substance that can help in healing this damage has been discovered. According to the study, when the receptor known as Protease Activated Receptor 1 (PAR1)—which is activated by the blood protein, Thrombin—is genetically switched off—the body acquires the ability to regenerate a fatty substance called myelin, that covers and protects nerves. Additional coverage: Science Daily, Interesting Engineering, Multiple Sclerosis News Today

Kansas Public Radio, Conversations: Dr. Barbara Bruce, "Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia” by Dan Skinner — On this edition of Conversations, Dr. Barbara K. Bruce talks about the Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia: Strategies to Take Back Your Life. Dr. Bruce is a clinical health psychologist in the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, where she developed and leads its fibromyalgia and chronic abdominal pain treatment programs. She has spent her entire career in the field of pain management.

Becker’s Hospital Review, Colorado birth center pilots Mayo Clinic telemedicine program by Jackie Drees — Bloomin' Babies Birth Center in Grand Junction, Colo., recently launched a pilot of a telehealth program developed by Mayo Clinic that allows pregnant patients to have some of their appointments done virtually, according to a Jan. 22 The Daily Sentinel report. Through the program, expectant mothers with low-risk pregnancies have the option to complete four to seven of a typical 12-14 prenatal appointments completed through video chat with a nurse. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic does prevent certain patients from participating, such as individuals who had a previous pregnancy in which she delivered prior to 37 weeks, according to the report.

OMNY-Radio, Mayo Clinic expansion - Mayo Clinic International — The boss of the best hospitals in the world – at least according to Newsweek – joined us in the studio. Mayo Clinic President Dr. Anton Decker explained why he’s expanding in Abu Dhabi.

Becker’s Hospital Review, FDA clears Eko's AI-powered stethoscope for AFib, heart murmur detection by Andrea Park — Eko has received FDA clearance for two artificial intelligence algorithms embedded into the healthcare technology company's digital stethoscope to detect serious heart conditions, the company announced Jan. 28…Another algorithm developed by Eko and Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic to detect reduced left ventricular ejection fraction has not yet been cleared by the FDA, but received "breakthrough device" designation from the agency in December 2019.

Healthcare IT News, Some helpful tips to survive and thrive at HIMSS20 by Mike Miliard — HIMSS20 gets started in earnest on Tuesday, March 10, with the opening keynote and discussion: Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, George Halvorson, chair and CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding and Dr. Rod Hochman, president & CEO, Providence St. Joseph Health will talk "Digital Health Transformation: The Path Forward."

mHealthIntelligence, Mayo Clinic Study Demonstrates Telehealth’s Value to Rural Hospitals by Eric Wicklund — Two rural hospitals using an asynchronous telehealth platform for eConsults with infectious disease experts saw a sharp reduction in risk of death within 30 days, as well as a decreased risk of rehospitalization. In a 2018 study conducted by The Mayo Clinic at two hospitals within its network, the connected health platform helped staff at these hospitals collaborate with ID specialists at Mayo’s Rochester hospital on care management for some 100 patients. Through the eConsult platform, those experts were able to recommend interventions like antibiotic type change, antibiotic duration change, antibiotic de-escalation, additional lab testing and consults with other specialists. Additional coverage: Mobihealthnews

Albuquerque Journal, Studies on aging may help to slow it down by Melissa Healy — Even after scientists have established the common roots of age-related diseases – a task that is far from complete – there’s still hard work ahead, said Dr. James L. Kirkland, who studies aging at the Mayo Clinic. If studies are to help humans age better, they’ll have to explain why we age so differently and predict which of many routes each of us will take. “At the moment, we’re measuring everything,” Kirkpatrick said. “But the effort will be to narrow down, to get a composite score of biomarkers that is predictive of a future decline in healthspan.”

Pulmonary Hypertension News, Robotic Repair of Leaky Mitral Valve Has Certain Advantages Over Open-Heart Surgery, Mayo Clinic Surgeon Says by Patricia Inacio, Ph.D. — Minimal incisions, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery are some of the advantages of robotic heart surgery to repair a leaky mitral valve — a risk factor for pulmonary hypertension (PH) — compared to conventional open-heart surgery, says a cardiovascular surgeon at the Mayo Clinic. Patients with a leaky mitral valve — the valve between the two chambers in the left side of the heart — may not feel symptoms, but they are at increased risk for heart failure and other cardiovascular complications, including PH (in this case the disease is called secondary PH), blood clots, and stroke.

Rheumatology Advisor, Family History of Some Conditions May Increase Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis — This case-control study used data from the Mayo Clinic Biobank to determine the association between a family history of 79 unique comorbidities and rheumatoid arthritis. Each of the 821 cases of rheumatoid arthritis identified by researchers were matched to 3 controls based on sex, age, location, and recruitment year. Family history and potential confounding variables were all self-reported. Odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) for rheumatoid arthritis risk determined by presence of family history for each comorbidity were estimated using logistic regression adjusted for body mass index, race, education, age, sex, and smoking.

Neurology Advisor, Greater Cardiorespiratory Fitness Linked to Increased Gray Matter Volume in the General Population by Brandon May — A higher level of cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with greater gray matter volume in the temporal, frontal, and cerebellar regions of the brain, a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests. The study included 2103 adults (age range, 21-84 years; mean ± standard deviation [SD] age, 52.34 ± 13.10 years) from independent population-based cohorts: the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) and SHIP-Trend. Researchers assessed participants’ cardiorespiratory fitness by assessing peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), oxygen uptake at the anaerobic threshold (VO2@AT), and maximal power output (Wmax) from cardiopulmonary fitness testing on a bicycle ergometer. Additional coverage: WTMJ Milwaukee

Endocrinology Advisor, Diabetes Is an Independent Risk Factor for Heart Failure by Hannah Dellabella — Diabetes is an independent risk factor for developing heart failure (HF), according to study results published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The researchers performed a cross-sectional study of patients aged ≥45 years who were residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, recruited to the Rochester Epidemiology Project from June 1, 1997 through September 30, 2000 (N=2042). Patients underwent assessment of systolic and diastolic function and cardiac structure with echocardiography.

Medscape, What Will It Take to Lower the Cost of Insulin in the United States? by Miriam E. Tucker — Reducing the cost of insulin — and other high-priced medications — in the United States will require a concerted effort involving multiple changes to the current convoluted drug pricing system, Mayo Clinic hematologist S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD, argues in a new commentary. The High Cost of Insulin in the United States: An Urgent Call to Action was published in the January 2020 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings by Rajkumar, professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, who specializes in treating myeloma and more recently has become an expert in drug pricing.

Medscape, 'Impressed With Impact' of Ketamine in Cancer Palliative Care by Kate Johnson — "I wish I had information that would be helpful," commented the lead investigator of that study, Robert Bright, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. "One patient became nauseous and vomited the administrated dose soon after taking it. No one had any psychotic or dissociative reactions, and I did not see anyone with remarkable improvement. The blinding was never broken, so I don't know who got placebo vs ketamine."

Healio, ID eConsultation associated with decrease in 30-day mortality — Infectious disease eConsultation was associated with decreased 30-day mortality and hospital readmissions in a study conducted at two rural hospitals. “We initiated our inpatient eConsult service because we recognized the need for infectious diseases support for smaller hospitals in the Mayo Clinic Health System,” Aaron J. Tande, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic, told Healio. “We performed this study in order to evaluate the impact on patient care and demonstrate the value this service provides to our institution and to the medical community.”

Healio, Smartphone videos help diagnose epileptic seizures — Smartphone videos taken by witnesses could help physicians diagnose epileptic seizures, according to a study published in JAMA Neurology. “The findings from our study demonstrate ability of patient-generated smartphone videos to predict an inpatient video-[electroencephalogram] diagnosis of epilepsy as well as nonepileptic events in expert hands,” William O. Tatum, DO, neurologist at the Mayo Clinic, told Healio Primary Care. “Furthermore, the use of smartphone videos showed added value to a history and physical examination, especially when motor signs were present.”

La Nacion, Riesgos del cigarrillo electrónico — Un estudio publicado por el New England Journal of Medicine sobre las víctimas mortales por vapeo halló daños pulmonares similares a los de la inhalación de químicos altamente tóxicos. Los investigadores pertenecientes a Mayo Clinic aseguraron que las patologías no se deben a una neumonía lipídica, sino a daños similares a los que suceden cuando los pulmones se exponen a gases químicos.

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Editors: Emily BlahnikKarl Oestreich

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