February 2010 Briefing - Gastroenterology
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for February 2010. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Resistance Likely to Develop With New Hepatitis C Drugs
THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- New drugs that block the replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are likely to lead to resistance if given as monotherapy and should be given in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, according to a review in the February issue of Gastroenterology.
Treating H. Pylori Bacteria Effective for Gastric Lymphoma
THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Eradication of Helicobacter pylori in the stomachs of patients with early-stage gastric lymphoma results in the remission of approximately 75 percent of them, according to a meta-analysis reported in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Annual Colonoscopy Helpful for High-Risk Cancer Group
THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Annual colonoscopies can provide timely detection of early-stage colorectal cancer (CRC) in the high-risk group of people with the genetic condition known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), according to a study in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Biomarkers Suboptimal for Early Liver Cancer Detection
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Two biomarkers are less effective than ultrasound in detecting early liver cancer in high-risk patients with advanced hepatitis C, according to a study in the February issue of Gastroenterology.
Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees
TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Novartis Updates Exjade Prescribing Information
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Novartis Oncology has alerted health care professionals about changes in the prescribing information for deferasirox (Exjade), a treatment for chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in patients 2 years of age and older, according to a Feb. 18 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Infectious Disease Not Linked to Future Celiac Disease
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children with an infectious disease at the time of gluten introduction do not appear to have an increased risk of developing celiac disease, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.
Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.
FDA Issues Maalox Total Relief Warning
THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to mistake Maalox Total Relief, a gastrointestinal and anti-diarrhea medication, for Maalox antacids (Maalox Advanced Regular Strength and Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength), as this could result in serious side effects.
Racial Disparities Seen in New York Surgical Patients
TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In New York City, minority patients are significantly less likely than Caucasians to use high-volume surgeons and hospitals when undergoing procedures with an established volume-mortality association, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.
H. Pylori Often Unrelated to Children's Gastrointestinal Pain
TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, Helicobacter pylori infection is not likely associated with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), but it may be associated with unspecified abdominal pain (UAP) and epigastric pain, according to a review published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.
Metastatic Prostate Cancer Mechanism Identified
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An oncogene tumor-suppressor cascade may drive metastatic prostate cancer, according to research published online Feb. 14 in Nature Medicine.
Gluten-Free Camp Helpful for Children With Celiac Disease
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For children and adolescents with celiac disease, attending a gluten-free camp may at least temporarily improve quality of life, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.
2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.
Mnemonic Device for Patient Decision-Making Assessed
FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians who must quickly assess a patient's capacity to make an emergency treatment decision can now fall back on a new mnemonic device, "CURVES," developed at Johns Hopkins University and reviewed in the February issue of Chest.
Laparoscopic Practice Takes Physical Toll on Surgeons
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Many surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgery suffer pain, numbness, stiffness, fatigue and other physical symptoms, often as a result of high case load, according to a study published online Dec. 24 ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium caused a widespread outbreak of selenium poisoning affecting 201 people in 10 states, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Reducing Skin Toxicity During Cancer Treatment Studied
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preemptive treatment reduces the development of high-grade skin toxicity (the most common adverse event observed with inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor) by more than half in patients with colorectal cancer receiving panitumumab-containing therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.
Active Bowel Disease May Increase Blood Clot Risk
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a much greater risk of suffering a venous thromboembolism than people in the general population without the bowel condition, particularly during periods of active disease, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in The Lancet.
Use of Feeding Tubes in Adults With Dementia Varies Widely
TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Feeding tube insertions in older individuals with advanced cognitive impairment -- a practice that has drawn scrutiny in the literature -- varied widely in U.S. hospitals during a recent period, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Gastric Banding Tested for Weight Loss in Obese Teens
TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of obese Australian adolescents, 84 percent who underwent laparoscopic gastric banding lost more than half their excess weight compared to just 12 percent in a lifestyle-intervention program, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
CD Increases Knowledge, Comfort With Genetic Testing
TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A CD-based educational aid can increase knowledge of and comfort with genetic testing in patients at high risk of developing cancer, and may facilitate informed consent, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Soft Drinks Linked to Pancreatic Cancer in Chinese
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming two or more soft drinks per week may be associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer in middle-aged and elderly Chinese individuals, although results from previous studies in primarily Caucasian populations have been mixed, according to a study in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.
FDA Warns of Link Between Natalizumab, Brain Infection
FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified health care professionals and patients that the risk of developing a rare but serious brain infection increases as the number of natalizumab (Tysabri) infusions received increases.
Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours
FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.
Study Assesses Survival in Patients With Liver Disease
FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have a higher risk of death than the general population, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.
Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.
Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.
The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.
President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS
TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.
FDA Revises Label for the HIV Drug Didanosine
MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV, use of Videx or Videx EC (didanosine) may increase the risk of non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, according to a Safety Announcement released Jan. 29 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has revised the Warning and Precautions section of the didanosine drug label to assure safe use of the medication.