Did you know the US cancer survival rate has increased by 20 percentage points in the past 40 years? No?
Maybe you should talk to your doctor to see if a HealthyDose™ of oncology trials is right for you. Side effects include: euphoria caused by an acute awareness of feeling yourself getting smarter, accusations of being a know-it-all by your colleagues, and more euphoria due to objectively knowing you are in fact smarter than your colleagues.
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Given the average age of our readership (more on that in a future edition), this seems appropriate. A study reported by the BBC found that sex is a very rare trigger for cardiac arrest. Only 34 out of the 4,557 instances of cardiac arrest examined were associated with sex. And of those, 32 were men, mostly middle-aged. (No, men, you may not use this increased risk to explain the earnings gap.) Disturbingly, CPR was found to have been performed in only about a third of the cases. Maybe the other two-thirds just figured they fell asleep? But seriously, if you don’t know how to perform CPR, here’s a guide. It can save a life. And preserve a sexual partner.
That’s the news 4.2 million Americans woke up to on Monday when the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology released new guidelines on what is considered hypertension. Now, if your sphygmomanometer reads 130/80, then your blood pressure is considered high. But the new guidelines aren’t changing much in terms of treatment—the physicians are advising that only about 80,000 more patients will benefit from hypertensive drugs. Those newly within the high blood pressure range are pretty much just being put on notice to change their lifestyle habits. However, nearly everyone can benefit from lowering their blood pressure—here’s 10 ways to do that without medication.
We’ve all seen the Ancestry.com ads for DNA tests that reveal your ethnic mix. Harmless enough. But what if a similar test indicated you had a low risk for coronary heart disease? Would you start swallowing these 2,000+ calorie bombs at every meal? Not harmless. Consumers are increasingly embracing genetic health risk (GHR) testing to understand their individual risk for developing diseases and the FDA recently released an update to streamline the development and review pathway for GHR tests. These tests can be valuable for drug development (see how Novartis is using genetic testing in an Alzheimer’s trial) and treatment decisions and the CDC has some thoughts on the topic.
Last week, we mentioned how medication adherence is a problem that costs a ton of money. In that study, researchers couldn’t get patients to increase their adherence through time-tested techniques like bribery. Well Otsuka has partnered with Proteus Digital Health to come up with a new solution—pills with sensors that register when the medication has been taken. While targeting schizophrenia medication adherence might not be the best patient population to start with—delusions of being watched are literally right there on the symptom list—it’s still an interesting idea. The sensor is tiny and made from digestible materials, but requires the use of a skin patch that you need to replace every week. We’ll keep watching to see if this sticks (we’ll be here all week.)
What does the greatest upset in modern sports have to do with diabetes? Read on. Leicester has been selected as the first UK city for a Novo Nordisk-led global initiative, Cities Changing Diabetes, which aims to stop the rise of type II diabetes in urban areas. Turns out Leicester has one of the largest populations with diabetes – almost 9%, well above the UK average of 6.4%. The upset? We must apologize to our European readers that we have to explain to football-naïve Americans that last year the Leicester City Foxes held 5000-1 odds to win the Premier League, and they did. Not since Roy Hobbs propelled the NY Knights into the World Series has there been such an upset. Let’s win one for the Gipper and knock out diabetes. Sports.