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American College of Gastroenterology, Oct. 11-16

The American College of Gastroenterology's 78th Annual Scientific Meeting

The annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology was held from Oct. 11 to 16 in San Diego 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, Sundeep Singh, M.D., of Stanford University in California, and colleagues found that the use of a smartphone application named 22Otters, which helps patients with colonoscopy preparation, was well received by patients.

"As people have tested a variety of mediums to communicate bowel preparation instructions more effectively in the past, this is the first attempt (to the best of my knowledge) to simultaneously take advantage of the graphics, text, speech, reminders, and speech recognition technology that is now available through smartphones to improve bowel preparation," said Singh. "Given that the preparation process is a major contributor to patients not undergoing colon cancer screening, the study demonstrated that individuals found the application easy and efficient to use, which may lower this barrier to colon cancer screening. The favorable results from this study have motivated us to begin enrolling patients in a clinical trial to evaluate the impact on patients' bowel preparation."

The study was funded by Gamgee, the developer of the smartphone-based mobile virtual application used in this study; two authors disclosed financial ties to Gamgee.

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In another study, Kris V. Kowdley, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues summarized the findings of four studies using sofosbuvir and ribavirin for hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 and 3 as well as sofosbuvir with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for previously untreated HCV genotype 1.

"The results showed that, in HCV genotype 1, 4, 5, and 6, 91 percent of patients achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR) 12 and 24 rate, which can be equated to a cure," said Kowdley. "In patients with genotype 2, over 90 percent of patients without cirrhosis were cured with sofosbuvir and ribavirin, and in genotype 3, over 60 percent of patients were cured. Sofosbuvir was well tolerated and there was no resistance to this agent."

In a second study, Kowdley and colleagues evaluated an all-oral regimen of three direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) and ribavirin for HCV genotype 1 and included both treatment-naive patients and those who had previously failed pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment.

"This study showed that the optimal regimen of three DAAs and ribavirin achieved an SVR 12 and 24 rate greater than 90 percent in both treatment-naive and prior 'null-responder' patients, and that 12 weeks of treatment was comparable to 24 weeks," said Kowdley. "This combination of agents was also well tolerated and there were very few patients with relapse or breakthrough on treatment."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to multiple pharmaceutical companies, including the manufacturers of the drugs used in the studies.

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Ana Maria Crissien, M.D., of Scripps Clinic and Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues found that certain factors from childhood and infancy were associated with the development of Clostridium difficile infection in adulthood.

"The following factors from childhood and infancy were found to predispose adults to the development of C. difficile infection: history of irritable bowel syndrome; being born in the hospital (rather than at home); and receiving antibiotics during infancy and childhood. A strong correlation was observed with being formula fed (rather than breast fed) but the difference did not reach statistical significance," said Crissien. "Factors that we expected would place adults at risk, but were unable to correlate based on our survey, include: being born by C-section (rather than vaginally); hospitalizations in childhood and infancy; and prematurity."

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ACG: IBD Ups Risk of Certain Arterial Thromboembolic Events

TUESDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with significantly increased risks of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and ischemic heart disease (IHD), according to a review and meta-analysis presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 11 to 16 in San Diego.

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ACG: Physical Activity Linked to Lower Risk of Esophageal Cancer

TUESDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of esophageal cancer (EC), according to a review and meta-analysis presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 11 to 16 in San Diego.

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