Expert Insights Newsletter by Medical Specialty - General Health and Wellness

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Vitamin D and Its Benefits Beyond Bone Health

The role of vitamin D in relation to bone health has been well established. There is also increasing evidence suggesting an association between vitamin D and a wide range of other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and infectious disease.... Read more 

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Poppy Seeds and the Interpretation of Opiates Drug Testing

The presence of morphine in urine can be due to illicit drug use or poppy seed ingestion, giving rise to the "poppy seed defense" among those receiving a positive drug test result. This presents a challenge for physicians reviewing drug... Read more 

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BRCA Mutation Testing — Identifying Risk for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Compared to the general population, patients with a confirmed BRCA mutation have a significantly increased risk of developing cancer during their lifetime - up to an 85% risk of breast cancer, up to a 40% risk of ovarian cancer, and... Read more 

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Developmental Delay: Genetic Testing’s Role to Help Guide Diagnosis and Treatment

Causes of developmental delay are typically identified by a combination of observation, physical examination, assessment of family history and a range of diagnostic tests. For disorders of uncertain etiology, chromosomal microarray (CMA) testing provides clinicians with an additional diagnostic tool,... Read more 

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Clostridium Difficile Infection — Addressing a National Epidemic

In recent years infections caused by Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) have reached epidemic levels in the United States, accounting for 250,000 illnesses per year and 14,000 deaths.1 Recognizing its link to antibiotic use, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... Read more 

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Advanced Lipid Testing: Enabling a More Accurate Assessment of Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. accounting for one in three (approximately 800,000) deaths each year.1 Strategies to reduce the burden of CVD focus on the three leading risk... Read more 

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Cell-free Fetal DNA Testing - The Benefits of Accurate Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

The use of maternal serum screening has become standard practice to identify women at risk of having a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities. Screening identifies 80%-90% of affected pregnancies but its specificity is very low ' only 5% of those screened... Read more 

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HIV Tropism — Next Generation Genotypic Testing to Predict Virologic Response

The identification of HIV tropism has led to the introduction of a class of HIV drugs, CCR5 coreceptor antagonists, which are effective in patients with the CCR5 coreceptor-using viral variant. An HIV-1 tropism test is required before initiating CCR5 antagonist... Read more 

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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Advances in Testing Technology

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a significant public health concern in the United States - chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most commonly reported notifiable diseases in the country.1 Edward (Ned) Hook, M.D., Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of... Read more 

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Thyroid Cancer — The Role Of Molecular Testing

Thyroid cancer occurs in 5% to 15% of thyroid nodules detected.1 Accurate diagnosis is therefore essential to avoid unnecessary thyroid surgery for benign disease and to select the most appropriate treatment option for cancerous nodules. Drs. Richard Reitz and Frederic... Read more