- News Releases
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Here are highlights from the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter June 2014 (for journalists only). Pros and cons of warfarin and newer anti-clotting medications For people with atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm problem that increases the risk of stroke, there are more medication treatment choices than ever before, according to the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Doctors often recommend an anti-clotting medication for patients with atrial fibrillation, which can lead to the development of blood clots in the heart. These clots can break off and travel to ― and potentially block ― an artery that supplies blood to the brain. The result is a stroke. More than 15 percent of strokes are attributed to atrial fibrillation. For decades, the only anti-clotting medication was warfarin (Coumadin). In the last few years, three more options have become available.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — A Mayo Clinic-led group of researchers has discovered three subgroups of a single type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have markedly different survival rates. These subgroups could not be differentiated by routine pathology but only with the aid of novel genetic tests, which the research team recommends giving to all patients with ALK-negative anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). Findings are published in the journal Blood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biPY4-SkYbk Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Feldman are available in the downloads. Patients whose lymphomas had TP63 rearrangements had only a 17 percent chance of living five years beyond diagnosis, compared to 90 percent of patients whose tumors had DUSP22 rearrangements. A third group of tumors, those with neither rearrangement, was associated with an intermediate survival rate.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released recommendations Tuesday on which symptom-free patients should be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysms, potentially deadly ruptures of the ...
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Physicians using body mass index (BMI) to diagnose children as obese may be missing 25 percent of kids who have excess body fat despite a normal BMI, which can be a serious concern for long-term health, according to a Mayo Clinic study published online today in Pediatric Obesity. The researchers found that BMI has high specificity in identifying pediatric obesity, meaning BMI accurately identifies children who are obese, but has a moderate sensitivity, meaning the BMI tool misses children who actually should be considered obese, according to the percent of fat in their bodies. “If we are using BMI to find out which children are obese, it works if the BMI is high, but what about the children who have a normal BMI but do have excess fat? Those parents may get a false sense of reassurance that they do not need to focus on a better weight for their children,” says Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., senior study author and director of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSDGfpxYapA
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida are reporting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ_8vv97wIA Their study, published in Cancer Research, reveals that the gene NPTX2, plays an essential role in this cancer type, which is resistant to common chemotherapy and has a five-year overall survival rate of less than 10 percent in patients with metastatic disease.
June is Home Safety Month; July 4 fireworks also cause for special attention to risk Facial hair and home oxygen therapy can prove a dangerously combustible combination, a Mayo Clinic report published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings finds. To reach that conclusion, researchers reviewed home oxygen therapy-related burn cases and experimented with a mustachioed mannequin, a facial hair-free mannequin, nasal oxygen tubes and sparks. They found that facial hair raises the risk of home oxygen therapy-related burns, and encourage health care providers to counsel patients about the risk. More than 1 million people in the United States use home oxygen therapy, and it is on the rise around the world, especially in countries where smoking is increasing, the researchers say. Mustaches and other facial hair can act as kindling for nasal oxygen tubes when a spark joins the mix, even if the spark is just a tiny ember that flies at an oxygen tank user from a match, grill or fireworks.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — A Mayo Clinic researcher says individuals need to build disaster readiness and resiliency in order to better recover from the effects of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other natural disasters. Those who prepare well for disasters are more likely to have a sense of spiritual and emotional well-being and be satisfied with their life. Those findings appear in the journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. Health scientist and geologist Monica Gowan, Ph.D., says how well people are prepared for adversity through the presence of meaning and purpose in their lives can play a positive role in how well they manage the uncertainties of disaster risk and recover from devastating experiences to regain health and quality of life.
ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Recent modifications in recommendations regarding incidental findings (IFs) in genetic testing from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) depart from the college’s 2013 recommendations in favor of an individualized approach. Experts in the Bioethics Program of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine published a review of the updated 2014 recommendations in the journal Proceedings. “The feedback from ACMG members indicated that the 2013 recommendations did not accommodate diverse patient needs,” says Jennifer McCormick, Ph.D., M.P.P., who authored the review. The 2013 recommendations embraced an all-or-nothing philosophy, which advised patients who did not want to be informed of some, or all, IFs to forgo whole exome or whole genome sequencing (WES/WGS), according to the review. In addition, the college originally instructed that laboratories “actively search” and notify patients of pathogenic variants in genes, which raised controversy regarding patient rights. With the 2014 recommendations, patients have more autonomy to customize their WES/WGS results based on their comfort level with knowledge, other than the original reason to seek genetic testing, says Dr. McCormick. "This is an important discussion, and the move toward greater autonomy is good for everyone ― both patients and physicians," says Dr. McCormick. "Medicine in general is moving toward more patient autonomy and shared decision making. Genomics and individualized medicine happen to be the starkest and least well-defined examples of this trend ― we have no best practices yet." Much genomic analysis is meant to aid the patient in making medical decisions, sometimes in the distant future, and there are often far-reaching implications for family members, say Dr. McCormick and her co-authors. These factors combine to make this type of testing very personal, especially regarding incidental findings. For example, patients can decide before testing to filter their results for only one part of their genome. This step is important because it differentiates between single-gene testing and WES/WGS. Where single-gene testing is selective, whole exome/genome sequencing is comprehensive.
Parrish Medical Center invited to become only member of Mayo Care Clinic Network in Central Florida TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic and Parrish Medical Center officials have announced Parrish Medical Center (PMC) as the 29th member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. PMC is the first Central Florida member of the network and the third in Florida. The Mayo Clinic Care Network extends Mayo Clinic’s knowledge to physicians and providers interested in working together in the best interest of their patients. Using digital technology, physicians with Parrish Medical Group and the Florida Health Network will be able to collaborate with Mayo Clinic on patient care, community health and innovative health care delivery. These physicians will have access to the latest evidence-based medical information through the AskMayoExpert database and connect directly with Mayo specialists on questions related to complex medical cases. “We’re excited to formalize our relationship with Parrish Medical Center,” says William Rupp, M.D., chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic in Florida. “We share a commitment to improving care and value for patients, and this has become increasingly important in a changing health care environment. By sharing what we know, we can complement local physician expertise and address patients’ needs while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their care.”
Method may shed light on how to better gauge heart health in lupus, other inflammatory diseases Rochester, Minn. — Rheumatoid arthritis patients overall are twice as likely as the average person to develop heart problems. Pinpointing which rheumatoid arthritis patients need stepped-up heart disease prevention efforts has been a challenge; research by Mayo Clinic and others has found that standard heart disease risk assessment tools may underrate the danger a particular person faces. To better pinpoint rheumatoid arthritis patients’ heart disease risk, an international team that includes Mayo researchers has created a heart disease risk calculator tailored to rheumatoid arthritis. Details on the new method, known as the Transatlantic Cardiovascular Risk Calculator for Rheumatoid Arthritis, or ATACC-RA, were presented at the European League Against Rheumatism annual meeting June 11-14 in Paris. The research team includes institutions from around the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and Europe; Mayo is gathering and analyzing the group’s data.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic was recently honored with two awards from Practice Greenhealth for its efforts in responsible environmental practices. Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire received the 2014 Practice Greenhealth Emerald Award. This is among the most competitive Practice Greenhealth awards and recognizes health care facilities that have achieved significant improvements in their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. In addition to energy conservation practices, such as using energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, the Eau Claire site also recycles more than 24 tons of glass, plastic and aluminum and 252 tons of paper. In 2013, its reusable sharps program diverted 22,214 pounds of plastic from the landfill and eliminated the use of 1,716 pounds of cardboard. “We are proud to be recognized as a leader in developing and implementing programs that protect our environment and the health of our patients, staff and community,” says Gordy Howie, director of Facilities Services-Maintenance at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Howie also is chairman of the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce’s Green Business Initiative that works with local businesses in developing environmentally sustainable practices.
Research conducted by Mayo Clinic investigators has found that two common gene variants that lead to longer telomeres — the caps on chromosome ends thought by many scientists to confer health by protecting cells from aging — also significantly increase the risk of developing gliomas, a deadly form of brain cancer. The genetic variants, in two telomere-related genes known as TERT and TERC, are respectively carried by 51 percent and 72 percent of the general population. Because it is somewhat unusual for such risk-conferring variants to be carried by a majority of people, the researchers propose that, in these carriers, the overall cellular robustness afforded by longer telomeres trumps the increased risk of high-grade gliomas, which are invariably fatal but relatively rare. The research was published online in the journal Nature Genetics.