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American College of Gastroenterology, Oct. 19-24, 2012

The American College of Gastroenterology's 77th Annual Scientific Meeting

The annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology was held from Oct. 19 to 24 in Las Vegas and attracted approximately 5,000 participants from around the world, including gastroenterology and digestive specialists and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on clinical updates in gastroenterology and hepatology as well as the latest advances in digestive health and gastrointestinal disorders.

In one study, Niloy Jewel Samadder, M.D., of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, and colleagues conducted a large population-based study exploring the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the relatives of individuals diagnosed with CRC in Utah.

"Our study shows that there is an elevated risk of colorectal cancer and adenomas in first-, second-, and third-degree relatives of individuals diagnosed with CRC. Prior studies have been limited to exploring this risk in first-degree relatives only. This reconfirms the current CRC screening guidelines that a family history of CRC is an important risk factor and earlier screening is important," Samadder said. "The increased risk of CRC in the relatives of individuals diagnosed with CRC under age 60 is over 200 percent compared to controls; however, we also show an increased risk (1.6-fold over controls) in those diagnosed over age 60. The implications of this are that we may want to consider offering earlier CRC screening (i.e., colonoscopy) to first-degree relatives of CRC cases regardless of age. Currently, the guidelines only advocate for earlier screening (age 40 versus the normal start time for colonoscopy of age 50) in first-degree relatives of CRC cases diagnosed before age 60."

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In another study, Siddharth Singh, M.B.B.S., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues evaluated the effect of statins on the risk of esophageal cancer. The investigators performed a meta-analysis of 13 studies reporting on almost 9,300 cases of esophageal cancer in more than 1.1 million patients.

"In this analysis, we found that statin use is associated with a 28 percent reduction in the risk of esophageal cancer. In looking at a subset of patients with Barrett's esophagus, we found that patients using statins had a 41 percent lower risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma," Singh said. "In looking at the combined chemopreventive effect of aspirin and statins in patients with Barrett's esophagus, the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma decreased by as much as 72 percent, though this was reported in only two studies."

Overall, the investigators concluded that statin use lowered the risk of esophageal cancer; particularly, esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus.

"While these results are definitely very encouraging, they are still based primarily on observational, nonrandomized studies. Future randomized controlled trials are warranted that can definitively establish whether statins lower the risk of esophageal cancer," Singh said.

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In a large population-based control case study, Prasad G. Iyer, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues found that patients with type 2 diabetes had an increased risk of Barrett's esophagus. The investigators used the United Kingdom's General Practice Research Database and identified 14,245 Barrett's esophagus cases and 70,361 controls without Barrett's esophagus. The investigators sought to determine whether there was an epidemiologic link between type 2 diabetes and Barrett's esophagus after adjusting for known risk factors, including obesity, smoking, alcohol use, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

"Interestingly, we found that, among the study cohort, if you had diabetes there was a two-fold increase in your risk for Barrett's esophagus," Iyer said in a statement. "When we stratified the results by gender, the association of type 2 diabetes with Barrett's esophagus was stronger in males compared to females, which may reflect the different fat distributions in men and women."

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ACG: Electrical Stimulation of Esophageal Sphincter Aids GERD

TUESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Use of lower esophageal sphincter (LES) electrical stimulation (EST) seems beneficial for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to three studies presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 19 to 24 in Las Vegas.

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ACG: Death Rate From Upper GI Bleeding Decreasing

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The death rate from upper gastrointestinal bleeding has steadily fallen in the United States over the past two decades, though the overall economic burden has more than doubled to $7.6 billion a year, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 19 to 24 in Las Vegas.

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