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UNC research highlights at 2011 Digestive Disease Week
Date:5/9/2011

Digestive Disease Week (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, DDW takes place May 7-10, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The meeting showcases approximately 5,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology.

The following are a selection of oral presentations given at this year's DDW by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine researchers.

1. Meditation offers relief for people with irritable bowel syndrome

This first-ever randomized controlled trial of the effect of mindfulness meditation training on irritable bowel syndrome found that the behavioral technique could significantly reduce the severity of symptoms. Dr. Olafur Palsson, associate professor of medicine, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, and UNC co-investigators also found that over time mindfulness training also reduced psychological distress associated with IBS. The study was led by Susan Gaylord, PhD, director of the University of North Carolina Program on Integrative Medicine.

2. Tough economic times affect colonoscopy screening rates even among the insured

This study sought to determine if the recent economic recession had an impact on the use of screening colonoscopy among people with health insurance. Dr. Spencer D. Dorn, assistant professor of medicine and co-investigators in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at UNC found that it did. Colonoscopy rates decreased among insured Americans during the recession, with high out-of-pocket costs a major factor. The find
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Contact: Les Lang
919-966-9366
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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