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Nov 24, 2015 · Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum and Mayo Clinic To Introduce Healthy Living Wellness Program

healthy living word cloud on chalkboard
Mayo Clinic and Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum will introduce a new program reflecting a joint commitment to wellness, the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Programme at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum will combine the research-based medical expertise of Mayo Clinic with Mandarin Oriental’s signature treatments and therapies, offered in its award-winning, expansive Spa. This collaboration is the first of its kind for the clinic.

Launching in January 2016 with a focus on preventive wellness and designed to inspire a more balanced lifestyle, the wellness program will offer guests a choice of tailor-made experiences from one day assessments to five day retreats, as well as a la carte services.

Following a range of individual assessments executed by Mayo Clinic’s experienced on-site staff including overall health, body composition, functional movement, stress and posture, guests will enjoy bespoke programs incorporating the clinic’s research-driven therapies and complemented by Mandarin Oriental’s signature Spa treatments. As well as healthy cuisine prepared by the hotel’s skilled chefs and wellness classes such as yoga, pilates and meditation, guests can take advantage of Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum’s rejuvenating heat and water Spa experience, first-class fitness center, indoor pool and tennis court.

“In today’s ever-changing, fast-paced world, expert guidance on how to lead a healthier, more holistic life is the greatest investment one can make. We are delighted to be the first hotel group to collaborate with Mayo Clinic to offer program of this kind.” says Jeremy McCarthy, Mandarin Oriental’s Group Director of Spa. “And the beautiful seascape of Bodrum serves as the perfect backdrop for a truly results-oriented wellness retreat.”

Paul Limburg, M.D.

Paul Limburg, M.D.

“Wellness is central to improving quality of life and preventing many of the most common diseases. We think this collaboration with Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum will provide their guests with a unique, useful, and relaxing way to learn about evidence-based wellness practices.’’ says Paul Limburg, M.D., Medical Director, Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions.

 Mayo Clinic Healthy Living at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum is available from 8 January until 30 April 2016 and is priced from EUR 950 per person, per night. The programme will be offered in addition to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum’s wide range of holistic treatments and therapies.

For full details on the program, please visit


 About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a non-profit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education. Every year, more than a million people from nearly 150 countries come to Mayo Clinic for care. Mayo Clinic is located in the U.S. with campuses in Rochester, Minnesota; Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona; and Jacksonville, Florida. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org and follow Mayo Clinic on Twitter at @MayoClinic and @MayoClinicME.

About the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program

The Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is redefining healthy living. It’s a comprehensive, whole-body wellness experience guided by medical research and evidence-based medicine to offer guests trusted solutions to improve quality of life. The program is research-driven around diet, exercise, and resiliency; and when all of these are connected, they encompass the power needed to make sustainable changes.

Wellness coaches work with individuals to design comprehensive, personalized wellness plans based on goals and expectations. Ongoing support is offered to ensure continued success and sustainability once guests return home. Cooking demonstrations, physical activities, resiliency experiences and spa services are available to guests, patients and family members through our à la carte menu.

For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org and healthyliving.mayoclinic.org

About Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum is located on a 60-hectare waterfront site on the northern side of the Turkish peninsula at Cennet Koyu (Paradise Bay), offering panoramic views over the Aegean Sea. Built on a series of levels nestled in the resort’s landscaped hillside, surrounded by ancient olive groves and pine trees, the resort’s 109 rooms and suites provide the largest accommodation in the area, all with stunning sun-decks, terraces or balconies, and many with private gardens and infinity edged pools. Ten restaurants and bars showcase innovative and gastronomic cuisine, while the 2.700 sq m Spa introduces the Group’s awarding-winning spa concepts together with holistic signature treatments and a range of wellness programs. In addition, the diverse event spaces, two sandy beaches and extensive leisure facilities will bring a level of sophistication and elegance, making this the perfect luxurious hideaway retreat for discerning travellers.

 About Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences. Having grown from a well-respected Asian hotel company into a global brand, the Group now operates, or has under development, 46 hotels representing 11,000 rooms in 25 countries, with 21 hotels in Asia, nine in The Americas and 16 in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. In addition, the Group operates or has under development, 16 Residences at Mandarin Oriental connected to its properties.

Oct 29, 2015 · Mayo Clinic responds to USPSTF draft recommendations on colorectal cancer screening

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women combined in the U.S. The goal of screening is to reduce the number of people who die from this common cancer. According to Mayo Clinic cancer experts there are gaps in current screening approaches in terms of detection accuracy, patient willingness to use them, and accessibility.

Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced draft recommendations on colorectal cancer screening. The task force recommended screening for colorectal cancer using the conventional tools, including, fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy in adults, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75.

Dr. John Noseworthy

John Noseworthy, M.D.

The task force concluded that the evidence is less mature to support use of the stool DNA test as a screening modality for colorectal cancer and designated this new test as an alternative rather than front-line screening approach.  The innovative and noninvasive stool DNA test (Cologuard) was co-developed by Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences scientists to improve screening accuracy, encourage participation with its user-friendly features, and remove access barriers. The stool DNA test has met the stringent reviews and been approved by both the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Mayo Clinic strongly urges the USPSTF to unambiguously support the stool DNA as a fully legitimate colorectal cancer screening option.

“There is compelling scientific evidence that this innovative approach can increase screening accuracy and potentially save lives,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., President and CEO, Mayo Clinic.  “We need to remove cost, cultural, location and other barriers to improve access to effective screening.”

Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Colorectal cancer develops slowly over a period of 10 to 15 years. Consequently, there is an ample window for early detection by screening to reduce both the incidence and death rate from colorectal cancer. However, nearly half of the population has not been screened, in part, because of reticence to use or limited access to conventional tests. It is critical that there are accurate options available that patients and providers are willing and able to use.

The stool DNA test is a noninvasive new screening tool that identifies characteristic chemical changes in stool that signal the presence of either cancer or precancerous polyps. The test requires no bowel preparation, no diet or medication restrictions, and no missed work, as it can be done from home. In a large study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine, stool DNA had sensitivity for early-stage cancer of 94 percent, which is the same as has been reported for colonoscopy, and was especially sensitivity for those largest polyps at greatest risk of progressing to cancer. It was significantly more sensitive in detecting both cancer and precancerous polyps than was fecal blood testing.

Dr. Robert Diasio, director del Centro Oncológico

Robert Diasio, M.D.

“Stool DNA screening is an effective new method designed specifically to fill gaps left by conventional screening approaches. Because this test is innovative, there has consequently been less medical literature generated than by the conventional tests that have been used over a long period historically. However, the well-done and peer-reviewed research fully supports use of this FDA approved approach. We would ask USPSTF to allow patients unfettered access to this new tool based on its merits,” says Robert Diasio, M.D., Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

Mayo Clinic announced in 2015 that it would make stool DNA testing available as a primary screening method for its patients. “Part of our aim in adopting this screening method was to increase screening access and compliance and this approach does both,” says Vijay Shah, M.D., chair, Mayo Clinic gastroenterology, who lead the group that oversaw implementation of stool DNA testing at the clinic. “Furthermore, we wanted our patients to benefit from stool DNA test’s high detection rates of early stage cancer and polyps at greatest risk of progression, which is unprecedented for noninvasive tests.”

Vijay Shah, M.D.

Vijay Shah, M.D.

Patients prescribed stool DNA screening at Mayo Clinic follow CMS (Medicare) guidelines. The guidelines call for a screen every three years in patients ages 50-85. Mayo Clinic experts further note that if the FDA approved CMS guidelines are followed, modeling shows that stool DNA screening causes fewer false positives, which lead to unnecessary colonoscopies, than annual fecal blood testing.

Stool DNA testing was co-developed between Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences. Mayo Clinic has a financial interest in the commercialized stool DNA test Cologuard.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://mayocl.in/1ohJTMS, or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

May 18, 2015 · Expert Alert – Precision Medicine and Obesity

Mayo Clinic Researcher Explains Five Individual Categories for Treatment of Obesity

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic researchers have identified five sub-categories of obesity in an effort to determine the most effective, individual treatments. More than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese and 17 percent of children are obese in the United States. Obesity is a costly health issue that increases the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, among others. The prevalence of obesity continues to rise despite education and efforts around diet, exercise, and drug/surgical therapy. In response, researchers asked how the gastrointestinal system affects obesity.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005 or newsbureau@mayo.edu

Researchers found that an individual with obesity will eat around 150 calories more than a normal weight individual to feel full. Researchers also found the stomachs of patients with obesity empty faster and are larger. Obese individuals also had a lower level of a hormone that signals fullness than normal weight individuals.

Based on these findings, researchers identified the following obesity sub-classifications:

  1. Abnormal satiety – difficulty feeling full (20%)
  2. Larger stomach (14%)
  3. Behavior component (13%)
  4. Stomach empties faster (13%)
  5. Others (26%)

Using obesity sub-classification, physicians will be able to prescribe the most effective treatment. For example, patients with a larger stomach might be good surgical candidates, and patients with behavioral issues may benefit from counseling or anti-anxiety medications.

“By using this personalized approach, we can find not only the most effective treatment, but save the patients time and money with less effective treatments,” says Andres Acosta, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.

In this initial study, researchers compared the efficacy of a satiety medication, a medication which helps patients feel full, to a placebo. When this satiety medication is normally prescribed, weight is reduced by 3 pounds per week. Using the sub-classification method, the same satiety medication could be prescribed to patients who had difficulty feeling full.  In the study, these patients reduced weight by 6 pounds per week. “The results are impressive and can change the management of obesity; we need to individualize the obesity treatment. It is clear that one-pill does not fit all,” says Dr. Acosta.

This research was published recently in Gastroenterology.



May 5, 2015 · Expert Alert - Fertility and Conception


ROCHESTER, Minn. — With Mother’s Day being May 10 and May being Women’s Health Month, Mayo Clinic offers expert guidance on fertility and conception.

Mayo Clinic expert Jani Jensen, M.D. is available to talk about the latest research and provide expert guidance for reporters writing articles on women’s health and fertility and conception.

Dr. Jensen is a Mayo specialist in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and co-director of the In Vitro Fertilization Program at Mayo Clinic.

She is co-author of the recently released Mayo Clinic Guide to Fertility and Conception. The comprehensive book provides answers and explanations for nearly every aspect of achieving a successful pregnancy. It covers lifestyle and nutrition, the intricacies of natural conception, common fertility problems, the latest medical treatments to help (including intrauterine insemination, in-vitro fertilization and donors), and information on special situations (fertility preservation, choosing single parenthood, same-sex couples and more).


Dr. Jani Jensen

Some common questions addressed in the book:

  • How long after you stop using regular birth control, like a birth control pill, is a reasonable time to expect for a woman to conceive?
  • Why should you find an obstetrician before you start trying for a preconception visit?
  • Can you influence the sex of your baby?
  • How exactly do age, stress, caffeine and alcohol affect fertility?
  • What tools can determine when you’re most fertile?
  • When is trying naturally not enough? When is it time to see a fertility specialist?
  • And then what? What are the latest treatments to help you get pregnant?
  • What if you’re not ready? What are the options for fertility preservation?

JOURNALISTS: To interview Dr. Jensen, contact Brian Kilen at 507-284-5005 or e-mail newsbureau@mayo.edu

Apr 30, 2015 · Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Highlights from the April 2015 Issue

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Here are highlights from the April 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 http://healthletter.mayoclinic.com/ or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter April 2015 (for journalists only).

Exercise eases depression symptoms

Increasing evidence shows that exercise can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers how exercise changes the brain and alleviates symptoms.

multi-generational exercise class doing yogaDepression is linked to abnormally low levels of certain neurotransmitters ― chemicals in the brain that allow nerves to communicate with one another. Having less norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin in the brain results in lower nerve stimulation than usual, contributing to feelings of sadness and emptiness, loss of interest in normal activities, tiredness, anxiety and trouble thinking.

Antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of these chemicals and bringing them back to normal. Exercise does the same thing. In addition, new evidence shows that exercise sets into motion changes that protect the brain against the damaging effects of stress and enhance resilience to depression.

Exercise also has positive emotional and social effects that can help deal with stress and depression. Regular exercise helps:

  • Regain a sense of control and boost confidence: This comes from learning new exercises, rising to new physical challenges and meeting activity goals.
  • Minimize worries: Exercise can be a distraction from recurring worries.
  • Cope in a healthy way: Exercise is a positive way to manage anxiety and depression. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on negative feelings or hoping symptoms will go away can lead to worsening symptoms.

Does exercise really help? Reviews of studies examining the antidepressant effects of exercise in people with depression have found exercise can be just as effective as medication or talk therapy. Even short or one-time bouts of exercise can temporarily boost mood.

Older adults: Caution advised with sleeping pill useelderly woman in bed looking sleepy, tired, depressed

Older adults with sleeping concerns should be very cautious about sleeping pills, according to the April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

While sleeping pills can at times be an effective part of therapy to improve sleep, older adults are more susceptible to side effects such as dizziness, lightheadedness and a risk of dependence. Sleeping pills also suppress breathing, which can worsen breathing problems such as sleep apnea.

Other side effects can include problems with thinking and body movement, drowsiness after waking up, or having daytime memory and physical performance problems. Sleeping pills use may increase the risk of falling, particularly at night.

When a sleeping pill is needed, short-acting, newer-generation drugs are usually the first choice. They include zaleplon (Sonata), zolpidem (Ambien, others) and ramelteon (Rozerem). Side effects are common but they tend to occur less frequently and with less severity than older-generation benzodiazepines.

Low doses of antidepressant drugs that cause sleepiness may be an option for those who also have depression. Options include amitriptyline, doxepin (Silenor), mirtazapine (Remeron) and trazodone.

Mayo Clinic sleep experts recommend that older adults keep sleeping pill use to a minimum, as an occasional sleep aid or over the short term of a few weeks while other options to improve sleep are explored with a care provider.

Walking, simple exercises improve balance

Balance exercises can benefit anyone, especially older adults. The April issue of Mayo Clinic two senior citizens, elderly couple walking down a road or pathHealth Letter covers why older adults sometimes struggle with balance and offers strategies to move with more confidence.

With age, some of the systems involved in balance and stability change. Vision can decline. Depth perception is reduced, and night vision might be more difficult. Changes can occur in the way the muscles respond to nerve signals, and a decline in physical activity can result in loss of muscle strength. Reduced speed and muscle power can make it harder to respond to situations that affect balance.

Exercises to strengthen and maintain balance can help older adults live more actively and move more confidently. A big benefit is reduced risk of falls, a leading cause of injury in older adults.

Almost any activity that involves standing and moving is helpful to maintaining good balance. One of the best ways to improve balance is by walking, really a two-for-one benefit because walking improves balance and is an aerobic exercise.

A number of studies have shown that certain simple exercises improve balance, too. They can be done most anywhere, as long as there is a something sturdy to grasp as needed. Options include shifting weight from one foot to the other, walking heel to toe or purposefully lifting a leg forward and holding it for a second while walking in a straight line.

Working to improve balance can easily be incorporated into everyday tasks, such as balancing on one foot while brushing teeth; squatting down, rather than bending over, to open a drawer or pick up an item; carrying groceries while walking sideways; or standing up and sitting down without using hands.

For those who have difficulty maintaining balance while standing, it’s advisable to check with a doctor before starting balance exercises. A physical or occupational therapist can teach exercises in a safe environment and assist with developing a home exercise program.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 1-800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit http://www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com.


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic and https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu


Apr 24, 2015 · Mayo Clinic Announces Apple Watch app for Patients and Physicians

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Today Mayo Clinic announced two new applications for the Apple Watch that will help patients and providers manage schedules and visits. The Mayo Clinic app update is available on iTunes. The Synthesis app for providers is available to Mayo Clinic staff.

“It is important that we interact with patients so that it seamlessly enhances their health care experiences. Whether this is through the Mayo Clinic app., remote monitoring, or the Apple watch, health consumer experience will continue to drive these technologies forward and Mayo Clinic will continue to lead with cutting edge technologies that benefit both our patients and

staff.” says John T. Wald M.D., Medical Director, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Wald are available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu


Once patients have synched the Apple Watch to their iPhones, they can view, at a glance, their next appointments.  The app includes:

  • Upcoming appointments including date and time, location and type of appointment
  • Appointment check in status
  • Itinerary changes including new appointments and changes to existing appointments

Providers, too, will be able to access useful information at a glance using Mayo Clinic’s Synthesis app.  The app includes:

  • The day’s appointment list
  • Basic patient demographics
  • Indication for the visit
  • Patient status changes including when the patient has checked in, been moved to an exam room, or if the patient has not yet arrived
  • Remaining appointments for the day
    synthesis_notification synthesis_detail3



About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://mayocl.in/1ohJTMS, or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.


Apr 14, 2015 · Mayo Clinic and Optum360 Collaborate to Improve Experience for Patients

Agreement includes deployment of existing Optum360 revenue management services technology, development of new tools and delivery of services to increase patient satisfaction

Optum360 and Mayo Clinic announced today that they are collaborating to develop new revenue management services capabilities aimed at improving patient experiences and satisfaction while reducing administrative costs for health care providers.

Medical Director for Patient Experience, Rochester

Medical Director for Patient Experience, Rochester

Optum360 and Mayo Clinic will collaborate on enhancing and redesigning specific elements of the revenue cycle to increase efficiency while creating a convenient, accurate, transparent and personal experience for patients. A key focus is improving the interaction between the provider and payer by opening channels of communication early in the care process. The agreement includes a next-generation patient cost estimator, streamlining prior authorization/pre-certification, enhanced claims editing functions and administrative simplification of billing activities associated with pre-care packaged pricing.

“Mayo Clinic and Optum360 have a shared vision of how a patient can best experience the revenue cycle as part of their care,” said Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., Mayo Clinic Medical Director for Patient Experience, Rochester. “Through our work together, we will also address the unique needs and regulatory requirements of the market and deliver a superior patient experience.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

“By simplifying and improving the path to quality care and patient interaction, we can improve the overall patient experience, increase timely and accurate payment for services and decrease administrative costs for providers,” said Ron Jones, CEO, Optum360. “Through our combined expertise, we will create a patient financial experience that is on par with Mayo Clinic’s exceptional patient care experience.”

In addition to this collaboration, Mayo Clinic will also be installing Optum360 technology and revenue management services to modernize and consolidate Revenue Cycle Management functions for the organization, which will create cost efficiencies. Optum360 computer-assisted coding, clinical documentation improvement and billing technologies will be implemented in a phased approach at Mayo Clinic facilities as part of their ongoing commitment to improve the service and experience for patients and providers when performing business transactions with Mayo Clinic.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://mayocl.in/1ohJTMS, or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

About Optum360

Optum360 is a leading revenue management services business dedicated to helping clients improve the patient experience by simplifying and streamlining the revenue cycle process. Optum and Dignity Health jointly launched Optum360 in 2013, combining Optum technology and analytics with Dignity Health’s infrastructure to simplify billing and increase cost transparency as patients take a growing role in their health care decisions. From patient registration and care delivery through billing and payment, the company’s 2,400 employees provide technology, services and consulting that benefit patients and drive financial performance for providers, hospitals and health systems. For more information, visit http://www.optum360.com.

Mar 27, 2015 · Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Highlights from the March 2015 Issue

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Here are highlights from the March 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 http://healthletter.mayoclinic.com/ or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter March 2015 (for journalists only).

Alternate medications to manage chronic painchronic pain med

Pain medications might not work well for chronic pain ― pain that doesn’t go away with time. The March issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers other types of medications and strategies to consider as part of long-term pain management.

Deciding on potential drug therapy for chronic pain usually involves analysis of the cause or causes of pain and knowing which type of drugs may be beneficial. Pain medications typically work well for pain resulting from headache, an injury or surgery. These same medications can lose their effectiveness over time, and some may even make pain worse or cause unacceptable side effects. Other options include:

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

  • Antidepressant drugs ― These drugs are commonly used for multiple types of chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, low back pain, headaches, diabetic neuropathy and other forms of nerve pain. In some people, antidepressants appear to help with pain, independent of their possible effect on depression. They can also improve depression symptoms, which can be caused by chronic, unrelieved pain. Antidepressants usually don’t lose their effect over time, and they may increase the effect of other pain drugs.
  • Anti-seizure medications ― Several drugs developed primarily to control epileptic seizures have been found to help control stabbing or shooting pain that can result from nerve damage or impaired communication in the central nervous system. When a nerve is injured or functions abnormally, certain nerve receptors that communicate pain to the brain may fire inappropriately. Anti-seizure medications can help reduce this activity and decrease pain levels.
  • Nonmedication strategies ― Using drugs to manage chronic pain usually works best as part of a larger plan that may include regular exercise, physical activity, physical therapy, counseling, stress management, massage and other components. Visiting a comprehensive pain rehabilitation center may be worth considering, especially for those who have struggled to find effective pain management. Reducing or eliminating unhelpful medications, often with a planned tapering of the drugs, is a common occurrence in pain rehabilitation programs.


Blood pressure guidelines refined for older adults, those with diabetes or kidney disease

Blood pressure guidelines have been refined for older adults and people with diabetes or kidney disease. The March issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers these changes and why they were made.

High blood pressure is a common and serious health problem in the U.S. High blood pressure can lead to significant health risks including heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure and other organ damage. Older adults are particularly at risk. More than half of adults over age 65 and close to 80 percent of adults over age 75 have high blood pressure.

Normal blood pressure is considered to be less than 120/80 mm Hg. For some, high blood pressure tends to develop over many years without an exact cause. For others, an underlying condition, such as kidney or thyroid disease, causes high blood pressure.

The goal of treating high blood pressure is to keep it within a range that avoids damage to the arteries, heart, kidneys and brain. That range varies somewhat for subsets of patients.

The most recent guidelines, from the Eighth Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, were published in 2014. For those with high blood pressure, guidelines recommend blood pressure lower than:

  • 150/90 mm Hg for healthy adults age 60 and older. This is slightly higher than previous guidelines.
  • 140/90 mm Hg for healthy adults younger than 60.
  • 140/90 mm Hg for adults with diabetes or kidney disease. This also is slightly higher than previous guidelines.

One of the underlying principles of the new guidelines is that more aggressive treatment isn’t always better at improving health, nor is it backed by solid evidence, especially in the case of older adults and those with diabetes or chronic kidney problems. Less aggressive treatment goals reduce the intensity of treatment, which also makes for fewer side effects.

It’s good to remember that guidelines are based on data derived from large numbers of carefully selected people ― and there are varying opinions on which blood pressure goals are best for optimal health. Patients should work with their providers to determine the best strategies to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and other consequences of high blood pressure.


Fostering thankfulness, improving well-being

Scientists are finding that people who are habitually grateful reap greater happiness, more positive relationships, increased sense of fulfillment and even sleep better, according to the March issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

While everyone feels grateful at times ― for a gift, extra help, a rewarding job, or natural beauty ― transient moments of thankfulness aren’t enough to explain the wider concept of gratitude. Gratitude, especially as it correlates to a higher sense of well-being, focuses on noticing and appreciating the positive aspects of life. Practicing gratitude means being content in the moment, despite the imperfections of life.


Dr. Amit Sood

Mayo Clinic doctor Amit Sood, M.D., has authored several books on training the brain to decrease stress, increase resilience and live meaningfully. Here are some of his suggestions to foster gratitude.

Start the day with gratitude: Begin the day by thinking of five people to whom you are grateful. The day starts on a more positive note when it begins with grateful thoughts.

Be thankful for simple things: Throughout the day, mentally note things easily taken for granted, electricity, running water, clean clothes or a cup of coffee.

Look for the positive in the negative: Try to see struggles as necessary forces that focus energy on what’s really important. Be thankful for a flexible mind that allows adversity to help you learn and grow.

Acknowledge your riches: If you are feeling bad, count your blessings, such as health, home, freedom, a job or loved ones.

Keep a gratitude journal: As you contemplate people and things you’re grateful for, write them down. Do it before you sleep so the last thoughts of the day are positive and sleep is restful. Refer back to the journal on rough days.

Say thank you: Express gratitude to others in words and deeds. Say thank you in person for a kind action or write a note to express gratefulness for having a person in your life.


Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 1-800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit http://www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com

About Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.