Digestive Disease Week 2011 was held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago and attracted approximately 15,000 participants from around the world, including researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and gastrointestinal surgery. The conference featured approximately 5,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures, highlighting recent advances in gastroenterology research, medicine, and technology.
In one study, Robert B. Dorman, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues found that performing bariatric surgery in patients 65 years of age or older was safe and effective with proper patient selection. The investigators evaluated 48,378 patients who underwent bariatric procedures between 2005 and 2009.
"We found that the percentage of older patients undergoing bariatric surgery had increased from 1.92 percent in 2005 to 4.77 percent in 2009, representing a 60 percent increase in bariatric surgery among patients older than 65 years. Out of 48,378 patients, there were only 72 deaths within 30 days of surgery, with eight of those occurring in patients over the age of 65 years," Dorman said.
The investigators also found that age became less significant when other factors, such as body mass index, and medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, were taken into consideration for patient selection.
"As the elderly population continues to increase -- expected to approach 70 million by 2030 -- so will the prevalence of obesity within this population," Dorman said. "These patients are going to be seen more often in bariatric surgery clinics, and this study will provide a framework to assess their operative risk within the first 30 days following surgery."
In another study, Nelson Sanchez, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues found that low-intensity exercise once weekly was associated with a lower risk of colon polyps. The investigators evaluated 982 middle-aged patients. The patient population evaluated was diverse, with more than half Hispanic, 20 percent Asian, and 15 percent African-American.
"The main finding from our study was that at least one hour of weekly exercise significantly reduced all types of polyps and adenomas throughout the colon," Sanchez said.
The investigators identified polyps in 33 percent of patients who exercised less than an hour weekly, compared with 25 percent of patients who exercised an hour or more every week. A subset analysis revealed that the findings were especially significant among patients with a body mass index greater than or equal to 25 kg/m².
"Overall, in a multiethnic patient population, we found that at least one hour of weekly light exercise, such as walking, was associated with a lower prevalence of polyps in the colon as compared with those who exercised less or not at all," Sanchez said.
Ibrahim A. Hanouneh, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues found that intestinal decontamination with rifaximin was an effective approach to prevent spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) and improve transplant-free survival in patients with liver cirrhosis and ascites. The investigators stratified 418 patients with liver cirrhosis and ascites into two groups by the use of rifaximin, of whom 53 (13 percent) received rifaximin therapy.
The investigators found that 89 percent of patients who received rifaximin remained SBP-free as compared with 68 percent who did not receive the drug. After adjusting for the Model of End-Stage Liver Disease score, Child's Pugh score, serum sodium, and ascitic fluid total protein, the researchers found a 72 percent reduction in the rate of SBP in the rifaximin group. They also found that rifaximin was associated with a greater transplant-free survival benefit.
"Our study showed that rifaximin is not only effective in the primary prophylaxis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, but also provides survival benefit for patients with advanced cirrhosis and ascites," Hanouneh said in a statement.
DDW: Colonoscopy Found Superior to Sigmoidoscopy
WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of new or missed colorectal cancers (CRCs) is substantially higher after flexible sigmoidoscopy than colonoscopy in older adults, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011, held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago.
DDW: Self-Propelled Endoscope Allows Colon Observation
TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A self-propelling capsule endoscope (SPCE) allows the observation of the colon from the anus and may be an effective alternative approach for colonoscopy in the future, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011, held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago.
DDW: Meditation May Improve Irritable Bowel Syndrome
TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Mindfulness meditation is associated with improvements in bowel symptom severity, health-related quality of life, and psychological symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011, held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago.
DDW: Gastric Bypass Surgery Tied to Alcohol Abuse Risk
TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who undergo gastric bypass surgery are at an increased risk of undergoing treatment for alcohol abuse postoperatively, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011, held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago.
DDW: Potential Diverticulosis Risk Factors Evaluated
TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary fiber intake, physical activity, and red meat and fat intake do not appear to be associated with diverticulosis, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011, held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago.
DDW: Colonoscopy Rates Lower During Recession
MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. screening colonoscopy rates appear to be lower during times of economic recession, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011, held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago.
DDW: Digestive Problems Tied to Somatoform Disorder
MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Gastrointestinal problems associated with lactose intolerance may not be tied to lactose malabsorption but rather to a psychological disorder, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011, held from May 7 to 10 in Chicago.
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