The annual Digestive Disease Week meeting, sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, was held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego. The meeting attracted approximately 16,000 participants from around the world, including researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and gastrointestinal surgery. Thousands of abstracts and hundreds of lectures highlighted recent advances in gastroenterology research, medicine, and technology.
In one study, Stephan Vavricka, M.D., of Trieml Hospital in Zurich, and colleagues evaluated whether journeys to high altitudes prior to an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) flare-up were associated with the risk of IBD flares.
"Based on previous experience in clinical practice and animal models, we decided to ask patients with flares if they had traveled to the mountains and/or flew within in the week prior to flare. We evaluated 103 patients, including 52 who had experienced flare and 51 without flare," Vavricka said. "We found that the risk of flare was higher among those who had taken a flight or visited the mountains prior to flare. While these findings are interesting, the study sample is too small to draw any conclusions or make recommendations to patients on whether they should fly or visit the mountains or not. Nevertheless, our data seems to support the hypothesis, and further studies are warranted."
In another study, Miriam Vos, M.D., of Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and colleagues found that the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adolescents more than doubled over the past 20 years, affecting 10 percent of all teenagers.
"NAFLD is a huge public health concern and we need to develop an approach to interrupt this rising epidemic," Vos said. "Currently, the focus has been more on identifying those children with NAFLD and treatment when it is identified. Because NAFLD is so prevalent among adolescents, we advocate for the testing and development of prevention programs as well as support ongoing screening recommendation."
DDW: Pancreatic CA Shot Added to Standard Therapy Ups Survival
THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- A pancreatic cancer vaccine, algenpantucel-L, may improve survival when added to standard therapy; and a four-dimensional elastic light scattering fingerprinting (4D-ELF) technology optic probe may allow pancreatic cancer to be diagnosed during endoscopy, according to two studies presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
DDW: Colonoscopy Timing Affects Carcinoma Detection in Elderly
WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the majority of outpatient colonoscopy exams among elderly patients reveal insignificant findings, the timing of the most recent colonoscopy impacts the rate of carcinoma detection, according to a study presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
DDW: Diabetes Linked to Higher Adenoma Detection in 40s
WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients aged 40 to 49 years with diabetes mellitus (DM) who undergo colonoscopy have a similar adenoma detection rate to those aged 50 to 59 years without DM, according to a study presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
DDW: Patients Prefer Colonoscopy to CT Colonography
TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing screening for colorectal cancer tend to prefer colonoscopy versus computed tomography colonography (CTC); and for those undergoing colonoscopy, the tolerability of bowel preparation is associated with improved polyp and adenoma detection, according to two studies presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
DDW: Estrogens Tied to Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives increase the risk of developing ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), respectively, according to two studies presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
DDW: Maltodextrin Found to Enhance Biofilms in Crohn's
TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Maltodextrin, a polysaccharide found in artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Equal, causes bacteria from the guts of Crohn's disease patients to more easily form biofilms that are stickier and more adherent, according to a study presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
DDW: New Endoscopic GI Bypass Described in Porcine Model
MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- An endoscopic gastrointestinal bypass procedure using self-assembling micro-magnets (Self Assembling MagnetS for ENdoscopy [SAMSEN]) can be used to safely create anastomoses in pigs, using only conscious sedation and with a total procedure time of less than 30 minutes, according to research presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
DDW: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Tied to Lower CRC Incidence
MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Screening with flexible sigmoidoscopy correlates with significant reductions in the incidence of distal and proximal colorectal cancer and in distal colorectal cancer mortality, according to a study published online May 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 19 to 22 in San Diego.
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