Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for March 2011. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Boceprevir Nets Higher Virologic Response in Hep C
WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of boceprevir to the standard treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection appears to result in a higher rate of sustained virologic response both in patients who have never been treated and those who have received prior treatment, according to two studies published in the March 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Online Health Records Less Used by Minorities, Poor
WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Online personal health records (PHRs) are less frequently used by racial or ethnic minorities and patients with low annual income, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Tied to Migraine Improvement
TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Severely obese people who suffer from migraines experience improvement in their headaches after losing a significant amount of weight following bariatric surgery, according to a study published in the March 29 issue of Neurology.
Room Cleaning Linked to Lower Drug-Resistant Infections
TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Enhanced intensive care unit (ICU) cleaning may reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) transmission, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Complementary Treatment of Colic Lacks Evidence
MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence supporting the notion that complementary and alternative medicines may be useful for curing infantile colic is limited and of poor quality, according to a systematic review published online March 28 in Pediatrics.
Post-Stroke Brain Stimulation Helps With Swallowing
FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- The application of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tCDS) to the unaffected cortex in conjunction with swallowing maneuvers is associated with improved recovery of swallowing after stroke, according to a study published online March 24 in Stroke.
Novel Immune Therapy Attacks Pancreatic Tumor Stroma
FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- A novel immune therapy using CD40 agonist antibodies to attack the stroma surrounding pancreatic tumors appears to show efficacy in mice and humans, according to a study published online March 25 in Science.
High Alcohol Intake Not Tied to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Higher alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) but not with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) or adjacent tumors of the esophagogastric junction (EGJA), according to research published online March 14 in Gut.
Reduced Hours for Trainees Has Had Little Effect in U.S.
THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing work hours for doctors in training to less than 80 per week has had little impact on patient outcomes or postgraduate training in the United States, according to a literature review published online March 22 in BMJ.
Bariatric Surgery in Youth Warrants Caution
WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery in older children may result in significant weight loss and improvement in quality of life, though long-term data on safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness are limited, according to a literature review published online March 3 in Clinical Obesity.
Oral Vaccine May Prevent Half of Cholera Episodes
MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- The currently available oral cholera vaccine may prevent 50 to 60 percent of cholera episodes in the first two years after vaccination, but its effectiveness is unlikely to last beyond three years, according to a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews.
Inflammatory Marker Tied to Colorectal Cancer Risk
FRIDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Higher plasma levels of the soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (sTNFR-2) appear to be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) among women, with anti-inflammatory drugs reducing the risk of CRC among women with high baseline sTNFR-2 levels, according to a study published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.
Bulking Agent Injections Effective in Fecal Incontinence
FRIDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A transanal submucosal injection of dextranomer in stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA Dx) is an effective treatment for fecal incontinence, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of The Lancet.
Professional Values of U.S. and U.K. Doctors Examined
THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- A core of professional values exists among doctors in the United States and the United Kingdom, though significant differences exist in how these values are expressed and prioritized, according to a study published online March 7 in BMJ Quality & Safety.
Hepatitis A Virus Antigenic Variants Identified
THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of hepatitis A in men who have sex with men (MSM) revealed several antigenic variants of the hepatitis A virus, which may have escaped the protective effect of vaccination, reinforcing the importance of completing vaccination schedules, especially among the immunocompromised, according to a study published online March 16 in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Short Nurse Staffing Linked to Higher Patient Mortality
WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patient mortality appears to be higher when nurse staffing falls eight or more hours below target level and during nursing shifts when patient turnover is high, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
U.S. Death Rate Reaches All-Time Low
WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- The age-adjusted death rate for the United States has fallen for 10 straight years and has reached an all-time low of 741 per 100,000, or 2,436,682 deaths, in 2009, down 2.3 percent from 2008, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
Outcomes Differ Among Hepatitis C-Related Vasculitides
WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related vasculitis, those with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) have a more severe and acute clinical presentation and a higher rate of clinical remission, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Arthritis Care & Research.
More Cholera Cases and Deaths Expected in Haiti
WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Mathematical modeling estimates that more cases of cholera than expected will occur in the coming months in Haiti, but many could be averted by the provision of clean water, vaccinations, and increased antibiotic distribution, according to a study published online March 16 in The Lancet.
Regional Variation in Chronic Disease Case Fatality Rates
TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- There is an inverse relationship between the regional frequency of diagnoses for chronic conditions and the case-fatality rate among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study published in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Drinking Liquor Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Mortality
TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption of three or more drinks per day, specifically liquor, is associated with increased pancreatic cancer mortality independent of smoking, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Use of Virtual Colonoscopy Increasing
MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Even though Medicare does not cover computed tomographic-colonography (CTC), its use in hospitals is increasing, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Colonic Stenting No Better Than Emergency Surgery
MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Colonic stenting does not offer a decisive advantage over emergency surgery in patients with acute obstructive left-sided colorectal cancer, and may pose safety concerns, according to a study published online March 12 in The Lancet Oncology.
U.S. Has Higher Rates of Chronic Disease Than England
MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Americans experience higher rates of chronic disease and markers of disease than their English counterparts at all ages, according to a study published online March 9 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Lower Survival Associated With GI Brain Metastasis
FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical resection and whole brain radiation therapy of gastrointestinal (GI) brain metastases is associated with prolonged survival and improved quality of life, but survival is still lower compared to metastases arising from other tumors, according to a review published online Feb. 11 in Cancer.
Many Hepatitis C-Positive Patients Are Uninsured
FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are more likely to be uninsured, and the rate of insurance coverage is even lower in those who are eligible for treatment, according to a study in the March issue of Hepatology.
Number of Cancer Survivors in U.S. Reaches 11.7 Million
THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- The number of cancer survivors in the United States had increased to nearly 12 million by 2007, according to a report in the March 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair Safe in Transplant Patients
THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Laparoscopic incisional hernia repair (LIHR) appears to be a reasonable alternative to open surgery in kidney and/or pancreas transplant patients, as it is in nontransplant patients, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.
HealthGrades Finds Rates of Patient Safety Events Vary
WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients treated at hospitals rated with a HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award have, on average, a 46 percent lower risk of experiencing a patient safety incident compared to those treated at the lowest-ranked hospitals, according to the eighth annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study published online March 9.
Ethnic Differences Seen in Academic Measures for U.K. Docs
WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- United Kingdom-trained physicians and medical students with ethnic minority backgrounds tend to underperform academically compared to their white peers, according to a meta-analysis published online March 8 in BMJ.
Duodenal Villous Atrophy Relates to Diarrhea After Transplant
WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Duodenal villous atrophy (DVA) is related to chronic diarrhea in solid organ transplant (SOT) patients and may be caused by mycophenolic acid (MPA) therapy, according to a review published in the March issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.
High HDL Cholesterol Tied to Decreased Colon Cancer Risk
WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Higher concentrations of serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer, according to a study published online March 7 in Gut.
Pharmacological Meta-Analyses Rarely Report Disclosures
TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Meta-analyses of pharmacological treatments rarely include information addressing primary study funding and conflicts of interest (COIs) of the authors for the included randomized control trials (RCTs), according to a study published in the March 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fatty Liver Independently Linked to Type 2 Diabetes
TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound-diagnosed fatty liver is independently associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), according to a study published online Jan. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Enough Transplant Surgeons Likely Being Trained
FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Sufficient numbers of fellows, some say more than enough, are being trained to meet the foreseeable demand for abdominal organ transplant surgeons, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Tied to Thromboembolism Risk
FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have twice the risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) compared to the general population, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Gut.
Molecular Tumor Burden Predicts Colon Cancer Outcome
THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with node-negative colorectal cancer, the occult molecular tumor burden in the lymph nodes is an independent predictor of the time to recurrence and disease-free survival, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Clinical Cancer Research.
High Hepatitis B Immunity in U.S. Children, Adolescents
THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adolescents in the United States have high rates of immunity against hepatitis B virus (HBV), although adults have much lower rates, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
FDA: Proton Pump Inhibitors Tied to Hypomagnesemia
WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care providers and consumers that taking prescription proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs for prolonged periods of time, particularly for longer than one year, may be associated with low serum magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia).
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