New Scientific Advances in Gastroenterology Presented at College's 73rd Annual Meeting

Friday, October 3, 2008 General News
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BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 3 Many of the world'spreeminent gastroenterologists will gather from October 3rd through October8th for the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 73rd AnnualScientific Meeting in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.The agenda includes the latest scientific advances in gastrointestinalresearch, treatment of digestive diseases and clinical practice management.

Presentations at the meeting will focus on new challengesgastroenterologists face in patient care and advances in preventing andtreating digestive diseases. A press kit with highlights of important newscience to be presented at the meeting will be available online at the ACG Website NOTE: News from the meeting isembargoed until Monday, October 6, 2008, at 8:00 am EDT.

Highlights of topics to be addressed include:

- Air Pollution May Increase Risk of Appendicitis

Exposure to air pollutants, particularly ozone, was associated with amodest increased risk of developing appendicitis. Notably, the effect of airpollution was strongest during the summer months, when people were more likelyto be outside.

- Metabolic Syndrome Ups Colorectal Cancer Risk

In a large population-based study, metabolic syndrome patients had a 75percent higher risk of colorectal cancer compared to those without metabolicsyndrome.

- Parents Foster Significant Misperceptions of Children's Weight andOften Misjudge Risk for Obesity in Adulthood

Results of a survey revealed most parents do not perceive their childrenas overweight or at risk for adulthood obesity. Even though all the childrenhad elevated BMI, less than 13 percent of the parents reported their child ascurrently overweight. Fewer than one-third perceived that their child's riskfor adult obesity was above average or very high.

- Screening for Colorectal Cancer Before Medicare Age Could Save Millionsin Federal Health Care Dollars

A new study suggests a screening program for colon cancer in patientsstarting ten years prior to Medicare eligibility, at age 55 instead ofMedicare's 65, would save at least two dollars for every dollar spent.

- New Studies Examine the Effectiveness of Probiotics in IBS

Several studies highlight the safety and efficacy of probiotics inimproving symptoms and normalizing bowel movement frequency in patientssuffering from constipation or diarrhea related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

- New Study Finds Summer is Peak Season for Diagnosis of EsophagusDisorder

Two new studies examined eosinophilic esophagitis, a condition that canmimic symptoms of GERD, in a small proportion of people. The first study foundthat the diagnosis of EoE peaked during the summer months. The second analysisreviewed a case series of heartburn patients who underwent surgery to treatGERD, but who were found later actually to suffer from EoE.

- Women Require Less Tobacco Exposure than Men to Increase Colon CancerRisk

While smoking poses a health threat to both men and women, women requireless tobacco exposure than men to have a significant increased risk forcolorectal neoplasia. In a separate analysis, researchers found smoking mayincrease the risk of pancreatic cancer precursor lesions, particularly inpatients with a strong family history of the disease.

- New Colorectal Cancer Screening Technologies Improve Detection of PolypsDuring Colonoscopy

Two studies highlight new technologies with the potential to improve thedetection of colorectal polyps and flat lesions during colonoscopy.

- Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Patients with IBD, Chronic Liver Disease

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease or chronic liver disease are atincreased risk of developing Vitamin D deficiencies. Two separate studieshighlight the importance of regular Vitamin D checkups in the evaluation ofpatients with certain digestive diseases.

- Endoscopic Therapy May Offer an Alternative to Surgery for Patientswith Barrett's Esophagus, Early Stage Esophageal Cancer

Two separate studies suggest endoscopic mucosal resection, or EMR, is aneffective treatment alternative to surgery and generally yields positivelong-term results for patients with Barrett's esophagus or early stageesophageal cancer.

- New Therapeutic Treatment Approach Improves Survival in EsophagealCancer Patients

A new therapeutic treatment, when delivered endoscopically and used incombination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, improved survival ratesin patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer.

- Studies Highlight the Importance of Bowel Prep and Effectiveness ofColonoscopy in Detecting Potentially Dangerous Polyps

New research emphasizes the importance of adequate bowel preparation priorto colonoscopy, and highlights the remarkable effectiveness of colonoscopy indetecting and removing pre-cancerous polyps, particularly tiny, flat,potentially pre-cancerous growths in the colon known as "sessile serratedadenomas," that may go undetected or unreported by other colorectal cancerscreening methods.

Functional GI Disorders: Latest in Probiotics, Antibiotics, New Tests &ACG's Evidence-Based Approach to IBS

Reporters can also attend the Esophagus Press Briefing remotely onTuesday:

About the American College of Gastroenterology

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is anorganization with an international membership of more than 10,000 individualsfrom 80 countries. The College is committed to serving the clinically orienteddigestive disease specialist through its emphasis on scholarly practice,teaching and research. The mission of the College is to serve the evolvingneeds of physicians in the delivery of high quality, scientifically sound,humanistic, ethical, and cost-effective health care to gastroenterologypatients.

The ACG is committed to providing accurate, unbiased and up-to-date healthinformation. Visit the ACG Web site to access educationalresources for patients and their families spanning the broad range ofdigestive diseases and conditions -- both common and not-so-common. Organizedby disease, state and organ system, these educational materials, developed byACG physician experts, are offered for the information and benefit of patientsand the public.Lunchtime media briefings are planned on the following topics: 1. Briefing Monday, October 6, 2008, 12:30 pm (EDT)

SOURCE American College of Gastroenterology

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