Many older adults still get cancer screening, study says | HCV Quest asks patients about hepatitis C treatments | FDA warns lupin may cause serious allergic reaction
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August 22, 2014
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Digestive Health SmartBrief
From Stanley K. Fergus and the American College of Gastroenterology

Top Story
Many older adults still get cancer screening, study says
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers analyzed data on 27,404 adults ages 65 and older and found many with a life expectancy of fewer than nine years had undergone tests for colorectal, prostate, breast or cervical cancer. The study found being married, being insured and having a regular physician made screening more likely. The study team said the data raise concerns about patient harm and higher costs that can occur with overscreening. Medscape (free registration) (8/18)
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Guide to Healthy Living
HCV Quest asks patients about hepatitis C treatments
HCV Quest is an online survey allowing hepatitis C patients to detail their care and treatment and share their challenges dealing with the virus. Created by the World Hepatitis Alliance, the goal is to gather information about HCV treatment worldwide that can influence patient care and policy. Healio (free registration) (8/19)
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FDA warns lupin may cause serious allergic reaction
The FDA has issued a warning that the legume lupin, which is in the peanut family and is increasingly common in gluten-free foods, may cause severe anaphylaxis. The FDA advised people to check food labels for the words "lupin" or "lupine" if they want to avoid the ingredient. Medscape (free registration) (8/20)
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How Facebook pages about chronic diseases are used
A study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research revealed only 9.5% of Facebook pages about chronic diseases were dedicated to actual patient support, while 32.2% were used as marketing schemes. Data also showed 20.7% of pages were used to boost disease awareness and 15.5% were utilized to disseminate information. (8/16)
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Diagnosis & Treatment
Researchers question use of acid suppression drugs in pediatric GERD
Researchers in the Netherlands said a review of scientific data shows there is not enough quality evidence available to support using histamine-2 receptor antagonists, such as ranitidine and cimetidine, in children with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Physicians from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center commented that increasing evidence showing lack of efficacy and adverse effects supports limiting the use of acid suppression therapy in children. Medscape (free registration) (8/19)
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Drugmaker announces positive results of hepatitis C drug trial
Achillion Pharmaceuticals has released preliminary findings from a midstage trial of its investigational hepatitis C treatment ACH-3102. The drug, used in combination with sofosbuvir, led to undetectable viral loads in 12 patients. The company will conduct tests with 12 additional patients. Reuters (8/15)
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Policy Watch
Judge allows challenge to ACA tax credits to proceed
A U.S. District Court judge in Indianapolis said a lawsuit may proceed against the Internal Revenue Service for extending tax credits under the Affordable Care Act to consumers who purchased a health plan through the federally run exchange. The lawsuit contends that only consumers who bought a plan through a state-run exchange are eligible for tax credits. The suit was brought by Indiana and 39 state public school systems. Bloomberg (8/13)
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Docs seek distinct names for biologics, biosimilars
A physicians' group and 10 medical societies are urging the FDA to require different names for brand-name biologics and biosimilars, follow-on products designed to emulate brand-name biologics. Distinct names could help prescribers monitor side effects, report adverse events and distinguish between drugs that "may differ slightly." Whether different names would restrict the substitution that helps lower health care costs is an important consideration. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot blog (8/15)
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HHS to respond to complaints that high co-pays are discriminatory
The HHS is preparing a response to complaints from the AIDS Institute, the National Health Law Program and other patient advocacy groups that health insurers are violating Affordable Care Act provisions that prohibit discrimination against patients with chronic diseases and pre-existing conditions. Some drugs are placed on higher tiers that require chronic disease patients to pay higher out-of-pocket costs, the groups say. The Hill (8/18), ABC News/The Associated Press (8/18)
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Patient's Perspective
Adjusting to TPN at home
"I hated TPN at home in the beginning. I hated that my IV pole doesn't roll well around my house, I hated that the bag was so heavy for my then very weak body that I got exhausted carrying it around. ... Along the way though I began to adjust and the mental aspect of TPN at home became easier. ... You will adjust but it all happens in our own time. TPN is a blessing in so many ways. It got me out of the hospital, helped me gain weight, gave me more strength, and kept me alive. It may be overwhelming at first but soon it isn't even a thought anymore." -- blog post from Sarah on
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The Last Word
News and information from the American College of Gastroenterology
Take the itch and burn out of hemorrhoids -- Tips to reduce pain and discomfort
Are you tired of the itch and burn of hemorrhoids? While it's a fairly common condition, many patients may be too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about it. The ACG has tips to reduce the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids.
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Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: It is character."
-- Albert Einstein,
German-American theoretical physicist
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Contact Your Doctor
Stanley K. Fergus
Gastroenterolgy Associates of West Tennessee
1400 Kings Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38105

Phone: (901) 555-1234
Contact ACG
American College of Gastroenterology
P.O. Box 342260
Bethesda, MD 20827-2260
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The information contained in Digestive Health SmartBrief is not intended to be medical advice. Consult your physician before making any decisions regarding your health care.
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