HCV ribavirin response varies by race, study finds | Data show NAFLD without cirrhosis is a growing problem | Study: Rifaximin successfully treats recurrent C. diff
November 19, 2012
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Clinical Updates
HCV ribavirin response varies by race, study finds
A University of Maryland study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology showed black patients with hepatitis C genotype 1 took longer to build plasma concentrations of ribavirin in their system, when compared with white patients. Researchers said, however, when black patients hit plasma exposure thresholds, they were just as likely as white patients to demonstrate viral responses to the medication. Read the abstract. MedWire News (U.K.) (11/12)
Data show NAFLD without cirrhosis is a growing problem
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a risk factor for liver cancer even in patients 65 and older who do not have cirrhosis, according to a database review by University of Missouri researchers. According to the data, NAFLD-linked cancer without cirrhosis is growing at a faster rate than cancer linked to cirrhosis. MedPage Today (free registration) (11/13)
Study: Rifaximin successfully treats recurrent C. diff
Patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infections responded to rifaximin, and after 12 weeks of treatment 53% had not had a relapse, according to a study from Helsinki University Central Hospital. All patients had about four unsuccessful courses of antibiotics before taking rifaximin, and the researchers said previous use of metronidazole or vancomycin probably played a role in curing the infection. Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (11/14)
Study: Resistant starch supplements offer no CRC protection
Lynch syndrome patients given resistant starch did not reduce their long-term risk of colorectal cancer, according to Newcastle University researchers who said the supplements did not replicate protection that may come from eating a high-fiber diet. Data showed people who took resistant starch for fewer than two years actually had a higher risk for colorectal cancer, although patients who took the supplement for more than two years had a risk similar to those on placebo treatment. MedWire News (U.K.) (11/15)
Legal & Regulatory
GAO: Getting Medicaid doctors can be a challenge for states
More than half of U.S. states and territories surveyed by the Government Accountability Office from February to May said it was hard to find sufficient dentists, primary care doctors, specialists or other health care providers for Medicaid patients. Among Medicaid officials for the states, five territories and Washington, D.C., 30 said it was a challenge ensuring enough dentists were participating in Medicaid, and 17 said the same for primary care providers. The GAO reported low Medicaid payment and a shortage of providers as main factors affecting provider participation. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (11/18)
FDA panel: More data needed on effects of hep B vaccine
The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee voted 13 to 1 in support of the efficacy of Dynavax's hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav, but questioned its safety and the insufficient information on its effects among some minorities, including Hispanics, blacks and Asians. MedPage Today (free registration) (11/15)
Practice News
Gastroenterologists find Twitter a useful way to connect
Dr. Ryan Madanick, who has thousands of followers on Twitter, says the social media outlet is a valuable tool for physicians, but he steers clear of any information that could violate patient confidentiality. Although GI physicians are not the most visible specialists on social media, a number of doctors see benefits to engaging online. "We cannot work in a very isolated way, in little silos," said pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Bryan Vartabedian. "We need to be part of a broader conversation, a broader knowledge base, for us to remain relevant as a profession." Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News (11/2012)
Business & Market Trends
Survey: Health IT interoperability is a big concern
More than a quarter of 1,000 doctors, consumers and industry professionals surveyed by Greenway Medical Technologies cited interoperability as a top concern when using health IT systems. Other concerns raised by respondents include medical staff alignment and overall costs. "The report reinforces the need for hospitals and health care providers to take a lead role in three major trends impacting patient care -- data electronification, consumerism and population health improvement," said Greenway president and CEO Tee Green. Healthcare IT News (11/15)
Patient's Perspective
A nonceliac perspective on eating gluten-free
Sarah Croessmann of Baltimore is one of the 1.6 million people who adhere to a gluten-free diet without being diagnosed with celiac disease, a figure reported in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Croessmann says her gastrointestinal symptoms went away after starting a gluten-free diet, but she says the lifestyle -- promoted by celebrities and often perceived as more healthful than a diet containing wheat -- is expensive and can be higher in calories. The Baltimore Sun (11/14)
ACG News
New hemostatic tools and techniques
Explore new endoscopic technologies and potential future developments to treat GI bleeding when you attend the 2013 ACG Western Regional Postgraduate Course, Jan. 25 to 27, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. The 2 ½ day program will feature an expert faculty who will present the latest clinical updates. Live cases and hands-on sessions are featured highlights of the course. Other topics to be offered include: Update on Biologics; Microscopic Colitis: Beyond Bismuth!; Barrett's Esophagus and Early Esophageal Cancer; Hepatitis B: Update in Clinical Management; Complications of Portal HTN: What to Do?; PEG, PEJ, or PEG-J - Which Tube for Which Patient?; and more. Attend and you can earn up to 14 hours of CME. The course will take place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, located on the west side of Los Angeles and adjacent to Beverly Hills, it is an easy drive from LAX. Register for the course and review the agenda
ACG Self Assessment Test now available
Purchase your online or print copy of the ACG 2012 Self-Assessment Test. The Self-Assessment Test includes approximately 300 questions in single best answer and true/false format, many of which include photographs and illustrations, along with detailed answers and annotated references. The tests provide a valuable review for graduating fellows taking their GI Boards as well as established practitioners looking for a broad clinical update. Also available from ACG 2012: ACG 2012 Annual Postgraduate Course Syllabus, available in print or on USB. Learn more about the Self-Assessment Test. Learn more about the Annual Postgraduate Course Syllabus.
Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt."
-- William Cornelius Van Horne,
Canadian railway executive
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