Included below are news items from the last six months.
The CDC has released new guidelines in response to the dramatic rise in prescription opioids overdoses in the last few years. Urine drug testing is recommended to help determine whether patients are taking opioids as prescribed or taking other drugs that might increase their risk of an overdose.
The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend that adults taking statins have regular cholesterol checks. For those whose blood cholesterol level is not adequately lowered, non-statin drugs may be considered.
In recognition of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (April 24-30, 2016),we asked several lab professionals to list key facts that they think are important for patients and their healthcare practitioners to know about laboratory tests. See the top 10 list.
A new test developed by the CDC that distinguishes between Zika, dengue and chikungunya viral infections is now available through certain public health laboratories.
Photo source: CDC, Cynthia Goldsmith
Could a blood test for multiple biomarkers improve diagnosis for depression and provide a breakthrough for certain patient populations?
When it comes to evaluating a woman's risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, her father's family history of cancer is just as important to take into consideration as her mother's and is necessary to be able to determine whether testing for BRCA mutations should be considered. Photo source: CDC, Dawn Arlotta
Scientists have recently reported finding in the upper Midwest a new species of tick-borne bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. The new species has been given the name Borrelia mayonii after the Mayo Clinic where it was discovered. Photo source: CDC / James Gathany; William L. Nicholson, Ph.D.
Environmental lead testing and elevated blood lead levels in children living in Flint, MI revealed the extent of the city's water contamination problem.
Photo source: CDC, Richard Duncan
Recent technological advances are enabling the development of new tests that make medical screening, diagnosis, and monitoring less invasive, more affordable, and more patient-focused. Photo courtesy of Dong Jin Shin, Johns Hopkins University
The CDC has issued a travel alert for more than 20 countries, primarily in South and Central America and the Caribbean, because of an outbreak of Zika virus, an infection spread by mosquitos. Pregnant women are advised to postpone travel to these areas following reports of microcephaly in babies born to mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant. Photo source: CDC, James Gathany
Scientists are concerned about a rise in the number of infections caused by bacteria called "superbugs" because they are resistant to just about all antibiotics and have resulted in death in almost half of all patients who contracted them. They belong to a family of bacteria called CRE, according to the CDC, which called them an "urgent public health threat" in a new report released in December. Photo source: CDC, Melissa Dankel
All overweight and obese adults over age 40 should get screened for diabetes, say new guidelines from the USPSTF. Intensive diet and exercise counseling are advised for those with high blood glucose levels or type 2 diabetes to prevent or delay complications. Photo source: CDC, Amanda Mills
Is it a Heart Attack? Study Finds Improved Blood Test May Speed Up Discharge for Some ER Patients with Chest Pain
A recent study found that highly-sensitive troponin blood tests are better than standard tests in ruling out heart attacks and determining who can be can be safely discharged sooner from the ER. Photo source: NHGRI, Jeannine Mjoseth
Two years after being told by the FDA to discontinue marketing direct-to-consumer genetic tests, 23andMe has launched a new genomic service. Far fewer reports will be available to consumers than previously, at least for now, but the new reports have been cleared by the FDA and include carrier status test results for over 35 diseases. Photo source: National Human Genome Research Institute, Jonathan Bailey