SVP, Chief Medical Director
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. This edition includes articles relating to liquid biopsies, the fast-growing field of epigenetics, wearable devices, suicide risk, and many others.
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Adjuvant chemotherapy guided by a 21-gene expression assay in breast cancer. N Engl J Med via PubMed.
3 June 2018
Adjuvant endocrine therapy and
9 August 2018
In patients with early-stage breast cancer and detectable circulating tumor cells, radiotherapy treatment was associated with longer local recurrence-free survival, disease-free survival, and overall survival.
Global, regional, and national cancer incidence, mortality, years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability-adjusted life-years for 29 cancer groups, 1990 to 2016 a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study. JAMA Oncol via PubMed.
2 June 2018
During the period of study, incident cancer cases grew by 28%. For men, the most common incident cancer was prostate cancer, and the leading causes of cancer deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancers. Breast cancer was both the most common incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths and DALYs for women.
Lifestyle & Wellness
27 June 2018
Poor lifestyles are associated with higher risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes across all genetic risk groups, highlighting the potential benefits of positive lifestyle changes.
13 July 2018
Over a 20-year period, this Australian study found alcohol consumption per capita was positively associated with overall cancer mortality among men aged 50 to 69 years and women aged 50 years and older; tobacco consumption per capita was positively associated with overall cancer mortality among men aged 50 years and older.
Loss‐framed financial incentives and personalized goal‐setting to increase physical activity among ischemic heart disease patients using wearable devices: The ACTIVE REWARD randomized trial. J Am Heart Assoc via PubMed.
9 June 2018
A 16-week trial of ischemic heart disease patients using wearables offered them money up front, with credits taken away if physical activity goals were not met. Physical activity increased during the 16 weeks, and these positive effects were still observed at an 8-week follow-up.
Association between traumatic brain injury and risk of suicide. JAMA via PubMed.
14 August 2018
Compared with the general population, individuals with traumatic brain injury had an increased risk of suicide, with an incident rate ratio of 1.90.
Vital Signs: Trends in state suicide rates — United States, 1999–2016 and circumstances contributing to suicide — 27 states, 2015. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
8 June 2018
In the United States, suicide rates increased significantly across most states during from 1999 to 2016. Approximately half of suicide decedents did not have a known mental health condition. Various circumstances contributed to suicides among individuals with and without known mental health conditions.
8 August 2018
In this large U.S. sample, all types of exercise were associated with a lower mental health burden, with the strongest associations seen for team sports, cycling and aerobic activities.
12 June 2018The study found that patients who experienced an adverse change in employment post-MI reported lower quality of life and increased depression. Unplanned rehospitalizations and post-MI bleeding were the strongest predictors of adverse change in employment.
11 June 2018
After adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors, depression, and β-blocker use, erectile dysfunction was found to be a significant predictor of CVD events.
28 June 2018
Analysis found that height is a risk factor for incident atrial fibrillation, with HRs between 1.35 (95% CI 1.10–1.66; P = 0.004) and 1.65 (95% CI 1.40–1.93; P <0.001).
13 August 2018
Researchers developed and validated genome-wide polygenic scores for common diseases, including coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and type 2 diabetes. This important paper argues that it’s time to include polygenic risk prediction in clinical care.
15 August 2018
In many high-income countries, life expectancy declined during 2014-15 but experienced gains the following year. The UK and the U.S., however, seem to be experiencing continued declines in life expectancy
Since average life expectancy is around 80 years and the theoretical maximum is 115 years, 35 years have yet to be realized. Research has shown that fundamental aging processes can be targeted by nutritional, genetic, and pharmacologic interventions to enhance and extend both health and longevity in experimental animal models. These findings clearly demonstrate that the biological rate of aging can be slowed.