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New research on GI health unveiled at American College of Gastroenterology's 2011 Meeting

Washington, DC -- Many of the world's preeminent gastroenterologists have convened this week for the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 76th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center at the National Harbor to review the latest scientific advances in gastrointestinal research, treatment of digestive diseases and clinical practice management.

Groundbreaking treatments such as fecal microbiota transplantation for serious gastrointestinal conditions like antibiotic-associated diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease; innovative prevention strategies for a host of GI-related health conditions including hepatitis C and colorectal cancer; new insights on the relationship between adult irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and childhood trauma and the impact lifestyle factors like smoking and alcohol consumption have on digestive health, are among the highlights of this year's scientific presentations.

A press kit with highlights of important new science presented at the meeting is available online at the ACG Web site

******PLEASE NOTE EMBARGO POLICY******* News from the meeting is embargoed until Monday, October 31, 2011 at 9:00 am EDT

Highlights from this year's ACG Scientific Meeting include:

Antibiotics May Not Be Only Cause of Community-Acquired C. difficile Infection; Patient's Place of Residence May Allow for "On-Admission" Prediction Model of Disease Severity

Antibiotics may not be the only risk factor associated with communityacquired Clostridium difficile infection, indicating that other undefined causes of the potentially life-threatening infection may exist and could also predict whether or not a patient will require hospitalization, according to researchers from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, MN.

A separate study by researchers from Winthrop University Hospital, in Mineola, New York, who assessed predictors of hospitalization in a population-based cohort of community acquired Clostridium difficile infection (CA-CDI), found that nursing home patients should receive special attention at the time they are diagnosed with C. difficile infection, as this variable appears to outperform other "on admission" variables including the Charleson comorbidity index in predicting outcomes in CDI.

Celiac Patients Face Potential Hazard As Information on Cosmetic Ingredients Difficult to Find

The lack of readily available information about cosmetic ingredients may cause patients with celiac disease who use lip, facial or body products to unknowingly expose themselves to gluten -- an ingredient they need to avoid, according to researchers from George Washington University. The study, prompted in part by a patient case, where a 28-year old woman experienced exacerbation of her celiac symptoms after using a body lotion advertised as "natural," focused on the top 10 cosmetic companies in the United States in order to evaluate the availability of information about cosmetic ingredients and the accessibility of gluten-free products.

Cigarette Smoking's Impact Lingers after Cessation: Current, Former Smokers May Face Impaired Pancreatic Duct Cell Function, Elevated Colorectal Cancer Risk that Persists Longer for Women

Cigarette smoking appears to impair pancreatic duct cell function -- even for those that quit -- putting all smokers at risk of compromised digestive function regardless of age, gender and alcohol intake, according to researchers from Center for Pancreatic Disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

In a separate smoking-related study, researchers from the University of Connecticut and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont found that the risk of advanced pre-cancerous tissue changes (neoplasia) was significantly elevated for women -- even if they stopped smoking -- but not for men -- suggesting that the effects of smoking for women has a longer effect than in men.

Fecal Microbiota Transplants Effective Treatment for C. difficile, Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Growing evidence for effectiveness of fecal microbiota transplants as a treatment for patients with recurrent bouts of Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) associated diarrhea is presented in three studies, including a long-term follow-up of colonoscopic fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) for recurrent C. difficile Infection that included 77 patients from five different states.

In a fourth study, investigators from the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Australia explored fecal bacterial transplantation as a treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. While this is a new area of research, results of this study show success in treating IBD when the fecal transplant is done recurrently.

Hepatitis Transmission Risk Needs to Be Studied in Nail Salons, Barbershops: New Analysis Questions Adequacy of Disinfection Regulations

The risk of hepatitis transmission through non-single use instruments such as nail files, nail brushes, finger bowls, foot basins, buffers, razors, clippers, and scissors during nail salon and barbershop visits cannot be excluded according to David A. Johnson, M.D., FACG of Eastern Virginia Medical School who presented an abstract which analyzed a report developed by the Virginia Department of Health.

Dr. Johnson's assessment of the Virginia report indicated that there might be potential transmission of bloodborne pathogens (e.g., hepatitis B and C viruses) if non-single-use instruments are not fully cleaned and disinfected according to the state regulations.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption is Associated with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Just one drink per day for women -- two for men -- could lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and subsequently cause gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea, according to researchers from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic. While previous studies have focused on alcoholics, who were found to have high rates of SIBO, this study is one of the first to look at the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and SIBO.

Probiotics Effective in Combating Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea; Promising as Anti-Inflammatory Agent for Patients with Ulcerative Colitis, Psoriasis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In four different studies, researchers explored the effectiveness of probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea; as an anti-inflammatory agent for patients with ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome; and for people with abdominal discomfort and bloating who have not been diagnosed with a functional bowel disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

New Research on Improved Treatment Options and Screening Strategies for Hepatitis C

Dr. Andrew Muir of Duke University Medical Center and a group of investigators in a large multi-center trial evaluated data on safety and efficacy from two Phase 3 trials (ADVANCE and ILLUMINATE) of the direct acting anti-viral drug telaprevir in combination with the standard of care (peylated interferon and ribavirin) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

Dr. Muir was also involved in an analysis of results of the Phase 2 (PROVE3) and Phase 3 (ADVANCE, ILLUMIATE and REALIZE) telaprevir studies of patients who relapsed to a prior treatment with the standard of care (pegylated interferon and ribavirin.) Prior relapsers are eligible for shortened duration with the telaprevir combination, and this analysis provides some of the rationale for the response-guided therapy approach for these patients

Psychological Traumas Experienced Over Lifetime Linked to Adult Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The psychological and emotional traumas experienced over a lifetime -- such as the death of a loved one, divorce, natural disaster, house fire or car accident, physical or mental abusemay contribute to adult irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. This is the first study that looks at multiple forms of trauma (not just sexual abuse), the timing of those traumas, and traumas in a family setting.

Screening Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C during a Routine Colon Cancer Screening

Investigators at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas developed and tested a screening intervention for Hepatitis C virus which identified patients at-risk for chronic Hepatitis C infection by targeting patients ages 50 to 65 who came to the hospital for a routine colonoscopy exam. Research suggests that as much as 70 percent of the undiagnosed Hepatitis C infection in the United States is among Baby Boomers. At Scott & White, over one third of the 376 participants in the study had at least one risk factor for chronic Hepatitis C infection.

Physicians Who Play Mozart While Performing Colonoscopy May Improve Adenoma Detection Rate

Physicians who listen to Mozart while performing colonoscopy may increase their detection rates of precancerous polyps, according to researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, who found that adenoma detection rate -- the proportion of patients undergoing screening colonoscopy in whom an adenomatous polyp is found and an important measure of a high quality endoscopic exam -- increased from baseline values with music as compared to without music for two endoscopists whose baseline adenoma detection rates were calculated over a one-year period prior to the start of the study.

Research Highlights Training to Improve Colorectal Cancer Detection and Assesses Impact of Pre-Cancerous Changes in the Far Reaches of the Colon

One study was the first study to assess improvements in detection of pre-cancerous growths in the colon through intensive physician training. Other studies highlighted the relationship between the location of pre-cancerous growths in the colon and the development of colorectal cancer in high risk populations, as well as detection rates for pre-cancerous growths in the upper reaches of the colon.

Social Media Has Role in Delivery of Healthcare but Patients Should Proceed With Caution

Two social media related studies highlight the pros and cons of social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube in the delivery of patient care and information. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Florida concluded that their Facebook group is vital resource for esophageal cancer survivors and their caregivers. After analyzing the top 100 most viewed IBD-related videos for content, popularity and as a source of patient education information, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that while YouTube can be a powerful tool for patient education and support, overall Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) content posted on YouTube was poor.

U.S. Research Confirms Latitude Variation in Incidence of Chronic Digestive Diseases -

Investigators Explore Potential Role of UV Light Exposure and Vitamin D in Crohn's Therapy

New research points to potential role for UV light exposure and vitamin D status in chronic digestive conditions, Crohn's disease, a serious inflammatory condition in the small intestine, and ulcerative colitis (UC). Results from two large prospective studies among large cohorts of nurses enrolled in the U.S. Nurses Health Study I and II revealed a significant north-south gradient in the association between latitude and incidence of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States, which affects as many as 1.4 million patients in United States, suggesting a link to UV light exposure.

Lunchtime media briefings in the ACG Press Room, Chesapeake G-H, are planned on the following topics:

Monday, October 31, 2010, 1:15 pm EDT

"Hepatitis C: Improving Sustained Viral Response & Screening Strategies for a Silent Epidemic"

Highlighting research on the effectiveness of new treatment options, particularly among African Americans and patients who have previously failed therapy for Hepatitis C, as well as screening strategies for patients based on age and risk factors during routine GI visits.

Paul Y. Kwo, M.D., FACG, Indiana University Department of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Mitchell L. Shiffman, M.D., FACG, Liver Institute of Virginia, Bon Secours Health System, Newport News, VA
F. Fred Poordad, MD, Center for Disease and Transplantation, Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA

Moderator: Dawn Torres, MD, MAJ MC, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Media may access Hepatits C Press Briefing remotely on Monday:
Toll-free Dial-in: 1-888-850-4523
Participant code: 424049

Tuesday, October 19, 2009, 12:45 pm CDT

"Good, Bad and Ugly Bugs: Mother Nature as a Treatment for Better Health in the GI Tract"

Highlighting new clinical science that explores the role of the "gut microbiota" -- the bacterial composition of the GI tract -- and the efficacy of probiotics in treating various GI conditions, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and bloating. The press briefing will also feature recent studies, including a long-term follow-up study, evaluating the effectiveness of fecal microbiota transplant for recurrent C. difficile infection and for the potential treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Mark H. Mellow, M.D., FACG, Integris Digestive Health Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Fergus Shanahan, M.D., BSc., National University of Ireland at Cork
Eamonn M.M. Quigley, M.D., FACG, National University of Ireland at Cork

Moderator: Brian E. Lacy, M.D., Ph.D., FACG, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Media may access the Good, Bad and Ugly Bugs Press Briefing remotely on Tuesday:

Teleconference Access Dial-In U.S. Only
Toll-free Dial-in: 1-888-850-4523
Participant code: 424049

Monday, October 31, 2011, 3:35 pm EDT
ACG Press Room, Chesapeake G-H

Peter Gibson, MD, and Dr. Susan Shepherd, developer of the FODMAP Diet
"Food as a Key Management Strategy for Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms?"

Professor Peter Gibson, MD, Monash University, Victoria, Australia , along with Susan Shepherd, the dietitian who is the force behind FODMAPS, will be available for media interviews immediately following Dr. Gibson's presentation of The American Journal of Gastroenterology Lecture: "Food as a Key Management Strategy for Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms?"

About the American College of Gastroenterology

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of more than 12,000 individuals from 80 countries. The College is committed to serving the clinically oriented digestive disease specialist through its emphasis on scholarly practice, teaching and research.

The mission of the College is to serve the evolving needs of physicians in the delivery of high quality, scientifically sound, humanistic, ethical, and cost-effective health care to gastroenterology patients. View releases on other research breaking at the ACG meeting at Follow ACG on Twitter!/AmCollegeGastro

Contact: Jacqueline Gaulin
American College of Gastroenterology

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