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September 2007 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for September 2007. 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.

Genes Affect Treatment in Patients with HIV, Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors can influence the degree to which persons co-infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV respond to pegylated interferon treatment, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

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FDA Issues Warning on 'Organic Pastures Raw Cream'

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes -- the organism that causes Listeriosis -- prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a consumer warning Sept. 21 against consuming raw cream labeled as "Organic Pastures Grade A Raw Cream," which is packaged in one-pint plastic bottles coded "SEP 14" through "SEP 21."

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Stress Induces Changes in Esophageal Mucosa in Rats

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Acute stress in rats increases esophageal permeability and widens intercellular spaces, researchers report in a study published in the September issue of Gut. By allowing greater exposure of sensory nerve endings to refluxed gastric contents, this stress-induced permeability may help explain the link between stress and heartburn symptoms in humans.

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Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Disorders Stable

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of gastrointestinal disorders has been stable over a 12-year period in a Minnesota county, with more than half of those with symptoms at baseline continuing to have symptoms at follow-up, researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Simple Interventions Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Targeted and tailored interventions can significantly increase colorectal cancer screening rates, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in the journal Cancer.

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FDA Issues Warning on Baby's Bliss Gripe Water

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A Minnesota case of cryptosporidium illness in a 6-month-old infant prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a consumer warning Sept. 20 against consuming Baby's Bliss Gripe Water, apple flavor, which has a code of 26952V and an expiration date of October 2008 (shown as "10/08" on the label).

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Immunosuppression Benefits Crohn's Disease Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In Crohn's disease patients treated with infliximab, concomitant immunosuppressive therapy improves infliximab pharmacokinetics and reduces formation of antibodies to infliximab, according to study findings published in the September issue of Gut.

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Familiar Doctor Linked to More Satisfaction for Urgent Care

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive urgent medical care from family physicians or after-hours clinics affiliated with their physicians are more likely to be satisfied with the encounter than patients who use other sources of urgent care, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Cirrhosis Complication May Affect Driving Skills

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Cirrhotics have significantly higher rates of self-reported traffic violations and accidents than the general population, with the highest rates seen in cirrhotics with minimal hepatic encephalopathy, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Moderate Drinking May Help Protect the Liver

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Light to moderate alcohol consumption -- 70 to 280 grams per week or between five and 20 drinks -- may be liver-protective in men, according to study findings published in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Resection Eradicates Genetic Abnormalities in Barrett's

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Stepwise radical endoscopic resection of the Barrett's segment with early neoplasia eliminates pre-existing genetic abnormalities, according to a report published in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Liver-Activated Drug Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A drug that targets the thyroid hormone receptor but is only activated in the liver lowers both cholesterol and triglycerides in rodents without the undesirable systemic side effects, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Useful in Iron Overload Diseases

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, treatment with proton pump inhibitors reduces phlebotomy requirements and absorption of non-heme iron from meals, suggesting that such therapy could complement phlebotomy in the management of iron-overload diseases, according to a report published in the September issue of Gut.

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Chemotherapy Switch Extends Survival in Advanced Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Current chemotherapy regimens are effective at prolonging survival in patients with advanced colorectal cancer, for example, by adding irinotecan and bevacizumab to a fluorouracil and leucovorin regimen, according to a meta-analysis published online Sept. 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Gene Variation Linked to Greater Risk of Scleroderma

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The G-945C polymorphism in the connective-tissue growth factor gene is strongly associated with systemic sclerosis, making it a candidate gene for scleroderma, according to study findings published in the Sept. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Less Virus in Hepatitis B Antigen-Negative Patients

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients chronically infected with hepatitis B virus who are negative for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) have lower levels of hepatitis B virus DNA due to lower intrahepatic virion productivity, according to a report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Modified Wheat Flour May Benefit Celiac Disease Patients

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The gluten in wheat flour can be detoxified by transamidation with a food-grade enzyme and an appropriate amine donor that blocks T cell-mediated gliadin activity, suggesting that such interventions may help prevent cereal toxicity in patients with celiac disease, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Medical Schools Vary in Approach to Case Reports

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical school institutional review boards (IRBs) don't treat individual case reports as "research," as it's defined by the United States Government Code of Federal Regulations, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Prophylactic Antibiotic May Help in Advanced Cirrhosis

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced cirrhosis, primary prophylaxis with norfloxacin may reduce the risk of peritonitis and other complications and improve survival, researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Woman's Gallbladder Removed Through Vagina

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A team of surgeons has removed a woman's gallbladder through her vagina, with a quick recovery and no pain or scars, according to a case report published in the September issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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NSAID Users Benefit from Proton Pump Inhibitors

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have a lower risk of gastropathy when they are co-prescribed a proton pump inhibitor, according to study findings published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Specific Protein Key to Intestinal Cell Differentiation

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) plays a key role in the terminal differentiation of cells of the intestinal secretory lineage, but it is not involved in the de novo crypt formation associated with juvenile polyposis syndrome, researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Cholesterol Screening Should Be Done in Childhood

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol screening is most effective when done in childhood, and experts recommend that children be screened at age 15 months at the time of childhood immunizations, according to a report published online Sept. 13 in BMJ.

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Racial Gap Persists in Maryland Colorectal Screening

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Maryland has the thirteenth highest rate of colorectal cancer mortality in the United States, and while screening rates have improved, there are still significant racial disparities, researchers report in the Sept. 14 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New Chromosomal Loci Linked to Crohn's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Four chromosomal regions are associated with Crohn's disease, according to study findings published online Sept. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Eating Raw Tomatoes Cause of Salmonella Outbreak

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The 2005-2006 U.S. outbreak of Salmonella infections was caused by consumption of raw tomatoes in restaurants, according to a report published in the Sept. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Ascorbic Acid Plays Helpful, Harmful Roles in Stomach

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In an aqueous setting, ascorbic acid in the stomach's gastric juice helps prevent the generation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds, which develop when nitrate in the saliva encounters the acidic stomach environment. However, when ascorbic acid is in the presence of a lipid in the stomach, it promotes nitrosation, research published online Sept. 4 in Gut suggests.

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Resident Work-Hour Limits May Have Improved Mortality

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Resident work-hour reform, implemented by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 2003, does not appear to have had a negative effect on patient outcomes and may actually have improved mortality rates, according to two studies published in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gluten-Free Diet Reduces Immunity in Skin Disease

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis, an inflammatory skin disease, have normal levels of serum interleukin-8 (IL-8) if they follow a gluten-free diet, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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