Medco Health Solutions Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. , pharmacy benefit managers for about 120 million people in the U.S., are spearheading the use of genetic tests by offering them to some members before providing certain drugs.
Cardiologist Eric Topol had just taken a seat on a cross-country flight last June when he received an urgent e-mail from a patient. The 63-year-old man’s heart was racing and he wanted to know what to do about it.
Almost three quarters of gene mutations occurred within the last 5 to 10 millennia of humans’ 200,000 years existence, and those of European descent have most of the harmful ones, an analysis of people in the U.S. showed.
By the time his twins Noah and Alexis were 12 years old, Joe Beery and his wife Retta had spent a decade trying to figure out what made their children so ill. After Joe took a job at Life Technologies Corp., a California company that makes DNA sequencers, their luck turned.
Scanning the genes of children with inherited brain disorders pinpoints the precise cause more than a quarter of the time, often changing the diagnosis, according to one of the largest studies of child DNA sequencing.
Exactly why James Markam is alive and well is a bit of a mystery. The octogenarian has lost four siblings to cancer, heart disease and emphysema, all before they reached the age of 62. Yet the retired airline executive recalls only one bout of sickness, culminating with a chest cold, 50 years ago.
Medical advances have made it increasingly common for older Americans such as Dick Cheney to receive heart transplants, extending their lives. The shift may make it more difficult for younger patients as aging Baby Boomers compete for available organs, top cardiologists say.