Head of Underwriting & Claims
Welcome to RGA's ReSearch Vitals, a new resource dedicated to providing you a collection of key article abstracts and links covering recent medical advances.
The pace of medical advances and corresponding literature is exceedingly rapid. Our aim is to keep you up-to-date with the latest medical research, curating articles of interest to underwriters, medical officers and claims assessors.
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As always, your feedback is welcomed; let me know what you think.
Association of survival with adherence to the American Cancer Society Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors after colon cancer diagnosis: the CALGB 89803/Alliance Trial. JAMA via PubMed.
12 April 2018
The study found that patients who followed the recommendations of maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in physical activity and consuming a diet containing vegetables, fish, and whole grains, had increased survival compared to controls.
8 May 2018
Men aged 55 to 69 years should discuss the potential harms and benefits of PSA-based screening with their doctor, and the decision whether to undergo such screening should be up to the patient. The task force recommends against PSA-based screening for men 70 years and older.
14 May 2018
Out of the many variables studied, having a job with either high physical (Odds ratio=2.11) or psychological demands (Odds ratio= 4.26) was strongly correlated with unemployment after breast cancer surgery.
Estimation of the percentage of U.S. patients with cancer who benefit from genome-driven oncology. JAMA Oncology via PubMed.
17 April 2018
Since 2006 the percentage of cancer patients who are eligible for genome targeted therapy has increased (5.09% in 2006 to 8.33% in 2018); however, the percentage of patients who benefit from the therapy remains small (4.9% in 2018).
4 April 2018
Individuals with methylated TNF-α-linked CpG sites had a 9-19% decreased risk of developing coronary heart disease.
7 May 2018
GeneSight analyzes a patient’s DNA to determine how well he or she may metabolize medications, which can affect how the patient will respond to them. Researchers found patients were 30% more likely to the respond to a class of drug the test recommended.
16 May 2018In the cohort, the rate of stroke (6.4%) remained unchanged during the five years after the initial event. The rate of all-cause death at five years was 10.6%.
15 May 2018
In patients both with and without heart failure, levels of BNP are correlated with risk of death. For each level of BNP the risk appears similar in both patient groups.
9 April 2018
Patients who engaged in fitness and physical activity had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of their genetic risk. In particular, patients with high genetic risk and high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness had a 49% reduction in risk (Hazard ratio= 0.51) of coronary heart disease.
Lifestyle & Wellness
Association of disrupted circadian rhythmicity with mood disorders, subjective wellbeing, and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study of 91,105 participants from the UK Biobank. Lancet Psychiatry via PubMed.
15 May 2018
By studying a subset of participants from the UK Biobank, disruption in circadian rhythms was shown to be associated with mood disorders—including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder—as well as lower reported levels of happiness and greater reported feelings of loneliness.
3 April 2018
Older adults who experienced a sudden loss of wealth, defined as losing 75% or more of total assets over two years, had a significantly increased risk of mortality (HR=1.50) during a 20-year follow-up compared with those who experienced continuous positive wealth.
10 April 2018
Compared to controls, people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) had an increased risk of dementia compared both with people without a history of TBI (HR=1.24) and with people with non-TBI trauma (HR=1.29).
Anticholinergic drugs and risk of dementia: case-control study. BMJ via PubMed.
25 April 2018
Certain classes of anticholinergic drugs have a strong association with future dementia incidence. Patients’ risk of dementia increased with exposure to anticholinergic drugs prescribed to treat depression, urinary incontinence and Parkinson’s disease.