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Young people with IBD five times more likely to develop serious infections, new study reveals

(Vienna, December 5, 2019) Young patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are five times more likely than the general population to develop viral infections that can lead to hospitalisation or permanent organ damage, a new study published in the UEG Journal has found. 

In the first study of its kind, researchers analysed almost 2,700 IBD patients in a Paris referral centre to understand the respective roles of IBD activity and drugs in promoting systemic serious viral infection (SVI). The study identified clinically active IBD and thiopurines (a class of immunomodulators used to treat an estimated 60% of IBD patients) as the main drivers of infection. Despite the highest risk of infection being seen in young patients between the ages of 18 and 35, a three-fold increased incidence of severe viral infections was observed in IBD patients of all ages.  The study also uncovered a concerning link between thiopurine use and a number of harmful infections. Whilst IBD patients receiving no treatment were at a similar risk level to the general population, patients treated with immunomodulators were found to be six times more likely to develop an SVI. The most common SVIs developed by IBD patients were identified as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is associated with a range of diseases such as glandular fever and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and cytomegalovirus (CMV), an infection which can pose a risk to unborn babies.  A correlation was also found between thiopurine use and EBV-induced hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), an aggressive disease associated with high mortality rates. With a third of patients estimated to be stopping thiopurine use due to adverse side effects, these new findings underline the need to find novel therapeutic approaches to tackle IBD.  Lead researcher Professor Laurent Beaugerie, from the Department of Gastroenterology at Saint-Antoine Hospital, commented, “Clinicians need to be aware of the substantially increased risk of SVI in patients with IBD, which had previously remained unclear. Young IBD patients are the most vulnerable to the development of SVIs, as they are less likely to have been exposed to viruses such as EBV or CMV before. They will therefore mount a less effective immune response. Their risk is further elevated by the inhibiting effect of the immunosuppressive drugs they are treated with.”  The number of individual IBD cases, which encompasses both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, has shown a marked increase since 1990, rising from 3.6 million cases globally to over 6.8 million in 2017. Commenting on the increasingly heavy burden of IBD, Professor Beaugerie added, “The relation between IBD drugs and SVIs is especially concerning, as presently, hospitalisation due to the serious complications that accompany the disease is the main cost associated with the management of IBD. The growing prevalence of IBD across the globe will only add further to the pressure placed on healthcare structures.”  New treatment pathways such as nutritional therapies in Crohn’s disease and faecal microbiota transplantations (FMT), which are not evidenced to be associated with an increased risk of SVI, could potentially alleviate the strain placed on healthcare systems. Therapies such as these could transform the course of treatment and confer significant benefits to patients.  The study, which has cast new light on the strong association between IBD drugs and SVI, emphasises the need for further research and funding into the area to improve patient outcomes. An investigation into promising new treatments should become the next course of action if the risk of SVI in IBD patients is to be brought closer that of the general population.  Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Laurent Beaugerie, please contact Hannah Murray on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG is included when communicating any information within this press release.  About Professor Laurent Beaugerie Laurent Beaugerie is Professor of Gastroenterology at Saint-Antoine hospital, Pierre et Marie Curie Paris-6 University, Paris, France, past-president of the national French Society of Gastroenterology and member of the AGA.  About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health.  Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance. To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:                Hannah Murray on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  Follow UEG on Twitter  References 
  1. Beaugerie L et al. Increased incidence of systemic serious viral infections in patients with inflammatory bowel disease associates with active disease and use of thiopurines, United European Gastroenterology Journal, 2019;0(0):1-11.
  2. Warner B, Johnston E, Arenas-Hernandez M, et al. A practical guide to thiopurine prescribing and monitoring in IBD, Frontline Gastroenterology, 2016;0:1-6.
  3. Fox CP et al. Epstein-Barr Virus- Associated Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis in Adults Characterized by High Viral Genome Load within Circulating Natural Killer Cells, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2010;51(1):66-69.
  4. GBD 2017 Inflammatory Bowel Disease Collaborators, The global, regional, and national burden of inflammatory bowel disease in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 2017.

UEG Week: Half of all commonly used drugs profoundly affecting the gut microbiome, warn experts

(Barcelona, October 23, 2019) A new study presented at UEG Week 2019 has found that 18 commonly used drug categories extensively affect the taxonomic structure and metabolic potential of the gut microbiome. Eight different categories of drugs were also found to increase antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in the study participants. 

Researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen and the Maastricht University Medical Center looked at 41 commonly used drug categories and assessed 1883 faecal samples from a population-based cohort, patients with IBD and patients with IBS intermixed with healthy controls. The researchers compared the taxonomic and metabolic functions profiles of drug users to non-drug users, looking at the effect of single medication use and then combined medication use. The changes observed could increase the risk of intestinal infections, obesity and other serious conditions and disorders linked to the gut microbiome.  Gut microbiota is the microbe population living in the intestine. It contains tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1000 different species of known bacteria. The human gut’s microbiota population is influenced by a number of different factors, including medication. The microbiome has received increasing attention over the last 15 years with numerous studies reporting changes in the gut microbiota during not only obesity, diabetes, and liver diseases but also cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.  The drug categories found to have the biggest impact on the microbiome include: 
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – used to treat dyspepsia which affects between 11% and 24% of the European population. PPIs are also used to treat peptic ulcer, H. Pylori eradication, Gastro reflux and Barrett’s oesophagus.
  • Metformin – used as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, affecting 10% of European adults
  • Antibiotics – used to treat bacterial infections, taken by 34% of the European population each year
  • Laxatives – used to treat and prevent constipation, affecting 17% of European adults
The gut microbiota of PPI users showed increased abundance of upper gastrointestinal tract bacteria and increased fatty acid production, while metformin users had higher levels of the potentially harmful bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli).  The researchers also found that an additional seven drug categories were associated with significant changes in bacterial populations in the gut. The use of certain antidepressants (called SSRIs) by those with IBS was associated with an abundance of the potentially harmful bacteria species Eubacterium ramulus. The use of oral steroids was associated with high levels of methanogenic bacteria which has been associated with obesity and an increase in BMI.   Commenting, lead-researcher Arnau Vich Vila said: “We already know that the efficiency and the toxicity of certain drugs are influenced by the bacterial composition of the gastrointestinal tract and that the gut microbiota has been related to multiple health conditions; therefore, it is crucial to understand which are the consequences of medication use in the gut microbiome. Our work highlights the importance of considering the role of the gut microbiota when designing treatments and also points to new hypotheses that could explain certain side-effects associated with medication use.” Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Arnau Vich Vila, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or by email media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release.  About Arnau Vich Vila Arnau Vich Vila is a computational biologist specialized in the study of human gut microbiota. He is currently finalizing his PhD under the supervision of professor Rinse K. Weersma at the department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of the University Medical Center of Groningen. His research focuses on the role of the gut microbiota in gastrointestinal diseases and the impact of environmental factors on the gut ecosystem. In the recent years he has published studies describing the microbial signatures in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome and identifying the effect of proton-pump inhibitors on the gut microbiota.   About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository. 
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  Follow UEG on Twitter  References
  1. Vich Vila, A. et al., 2019. Impact of 41 commonly used drugs on the composition, metabolic function and resistome of the gut microbiome. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona October XX, 2019.
  2. Cani PD., Human gut microbiome: hopes, threats and promises Gut 2018;67:1716-1725.
  3. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2006. Epidemiology of functional dyspepsia: A global perspective. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130971/.
  4. WHO Europe (2019) Diabetes: Data and statistics, Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/diabetes/data-and-statistics European Commission. 2016.
  5. Special Eurobarometer 445: Antimicrobial Resistance. European Commission; Brussels, Belgium.
  6. Peppas, George, et al., 2008. "Epidemiology of constipation in Europe and Oceania: a systematic review." BMC gastroenterology 8.1:5.

UEG Week: Colorectal and pancreatic cancer rates up 10% in last 30 years, reveals major global study

(Barcelona, October 22, 2019) The results of a major study across 195 countries, presented today at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, indicate that global death rates for pancreatic cancer and incidence rates for colorectal cancer both increased by 10% between 1990 and 2017. 

The Global Burden of Disease study, is the first to provide comprehensive worldwide estimates of the burden, epidemiological features and risk factors of a number of digestive diseases. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the study has also been published today in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.  Key findings also include:
  • The number of pancreatic cancer cases increased by 130% over the 27-year study period, from 195,000 in 1990 to 448,000 in 2017
  • Gastric (stomach) cancer dropped from the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide to the third, behind both lung and colorectal cancer
  • The number of cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increased 84%, from 3.7 million in 1990 to 6.8 million in 2017 
Commenting on the study, Professor Herbert Tilg, Chair of the UEG Scientific Committee, stated, “This analysis provides the most comprehensive picture of the global burden of digestive disease to date. Examining these cross-populational trends offers vital information on the changing burden of disease and aids the correct allocation of resources to improve patient outcomes.”  Pancreatic cancer patients more likely to survive in 1990 than today As well as an increase in pancreatic cancer cases, the number of deaths also rose from 196,000 in 1990 to 448,000 in 2017. Whilst some of this increase can be explained by the rising population and longevity, even after accounting for population changes, age-standardised incidence and death rates for pancreatic cancer increased by 12% and 10% respectively. Of note, the highest incidence and death rates were found in higher-income countries.  Experts believe the increase is related to a rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes, as reflected by the risk factors of high BMI and higher blood glucose levels which are two of the leading risk factors for pancreatic cancer.  Professor Reza Malekzadeh, lead author of the study, commented, “Pancreatic cancer is one of the world’s deadliest cancers, with an overall five-year survival rate of just 5% in high, middle and low-income countries. Major risk factors for the disease, such as smoking, diabetes and obesity, are largely modifiable and present a huge opportunity for prevention.”  Screening key in reducing the burden of colorectal cancer From 1990 to 2017, age-standardised incidence rates for colorectal cancer increased 9.5% globally but, by contrast, age-standardised death rates decreased by 13.5%. The researchers believe that this is due to the introduction of colorectal cancer screening programmes, leading to earlier detection and an increased chance of survival. Similarly, in countries where screening programmes were established two or three decades ago, reductions in death rates were observed, supporting the benefits attributable to screening interventions.  The study also indicated that the risk factors for colorectal cancer are different in males and females, and should therefore be considered in national policy and prevention programmes. Alcohol use, smoking and diets low in calcium, milk and fibre had a considerable burden on males. For females, dietary risks, but not alcohol use or smoking, were found to be the most attributable risks.  Experts recommend local strategies to tackle gastric cancer  Age-standardised incidence and death rates for gastric cancer decreased steadily between 1990 and 2017. However, this decline has not necessarily led to a lower burden on the health system in high-risk countries and experts believe that specific local strategies should be tailored to each country’s risk factor profile.  “This research shows how gastric cancer presents vast geographical variations, and understanding these differential trends is essential for formulating effective preventative strategies”, commented Professor Reza Malekzadeh. “Beyond the current decline in incidence and death rates, a decrease in the absolute number of cases and deaths will be possible if the burden in east Asia, where currently almost half of the cases and deaths occur, is further reduced.”  - ENDS - Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an expert interview with, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release. Links to Full Papers: Colorectal Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Stomach Cancer IBD About Professor Herbert Tilg Professor Herbert Tilg is the Chair of the UEG Scientific Committee and a Professor at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.  About Professor Reza Malekzadeh Professor Reza Malekzadeh is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Digestive Disease Institute at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of pancreatic cancer and its attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  
  2. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of colorectal cancer and its attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  
  3. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of stomach cancer in 195 countries, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  
  4. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of inflammatory bowel disease in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  

UEG Week: Resistance to antibiotics used to treat harmful stomach infection doubles in 20 years, new study finds 

(Barcelona, October 21, 2019) Resistance to commonly-used antibiotics for treating harmful bacteria related to a variety of stomach conditions has more than doubled in 20 years, new research presented today at UEG Week Barcelona 2019 has shown. 

The study, which analysed 1,232 patients from 18 countries* across Europe, investigated resistance to antibiotics regularly taken for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, a harmful bacterium associated with gastric ulcer, lymphoma and gastric cancer. Resistance to clarithromycin, one of the most established antimicrobials used to eradicate H. pylori, had increased from 9.9% in 1998 to 21.6% last year, with increases in resistance also seen for levofloxacin and metronidazole. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to survive exposure to medications designed to kill or halt their growth. It is one of the greatest threats to global health today, causing more than 750,000 deaths every year and, without urgent action, this number is expected to rise dramatically in the future.  Presenting the study today, lead researcher Professor Francis Megraud, explained, “H. pylori infection is already a complex condition to treat, requiring a combination of medications. With resistance rates to commonly used antibiotics such as clarithromycin increasing at an alarming rate of nearly 1% per year, treatment options for H. pylori will become progressively limited and ineffective if novel treatment strategies remain undeveloped. The reduced efficacy of current therapies could maintain the high incidence rates of gastric cancer and other conditions such as peptic ulcer disease, if drug resistance continues to increase at this pace.”   H. pylori is one of the most common bacterial infections in humans and is estimated to be present in one-half of the world’s population. H. pylori leads to inflammation of the stomach lining, namely gastritis, which can result in peptic ulcers. H. pylori is also the most important risk factor for gastric cancer, the seventh leading cause of cancer death in Europe and the third worldwide. In recent years, H. pylori antibiotic resistance has become a prominent and urgent issue across the globe. Underlining the severity of the situation, in 2017, the World Health Organisation identified clarithromycin-resistant H. pylori as a high priority bacterium for antibiotic research and development. The survey also found that the rates of primary clarithromycin resistance in H. pylori were highest in Southern Italy (39.9%), Croatia (34.6) and Greece (30%), aligning with previous reports that predict that both Italy and Greece will have the highest number of deaths due to antimicrobial resistance amongst EU members by 2050. The high levels of resistance exhibited in these countries has been attributed to the overconsumption of antibiotics for conditions including cold and flu, and a lack of institutional support for antibiotic resistance containment strategies.   “The findings of this study are certainly concerning, as H. pylori is the main cause of peptic disease and gastric cancer,” commented Mário Dinis-Ribeiro, President of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. “The increasing resistance of H. pylori to a number of commonly-used antibiotics may jeopardize prevention strategies.”

Country

Rate of ‘primary’ clarithromycin resistance in H. pylori in Europe in 2018 (%)

Southern Italy

36.9

Croatia

34.6

Greece

30.0

Poland

28.5

Bulgaria

26.9

Ireland

25.6

Austria

23.5

France

22.5

Germany

22.2

Portugal

20.0

Belgium

17.4

Spain

17.1

Slovenia

16.0

Lithuania

13.0

Netherlands

9.2

Norway

8.9

Latvia

6.8

Denmark

5.0

- ENDS -  Notes to Editors Participating countries included; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Southern Italy and Spain.  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Francis Megraud, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or by email media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release.  About Professor Francis Megraud Professor Francis Megraud is the Professor of Bacteriology at University of Bordeaux (France) and founder and current secretary of the European Helicobacter & Microbiota Study Group.  About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning.  About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Megraud, F et al., 2019. European survey of Helicobacter pylori primary resistance to antibiotics – Evolution over the last 20 years. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona October 21, 2019
  2. Glupczynski et al. EJCMID 2001, Megraud et al. Gut 2013 and Megraud, F et al., 2019. European survey of Helicobacter pylori primary resistance to antibiotics – Evolution over the last 20 years
  3. ReAct AMR, The global threat of antibiotic resistance (ONLINE): Available at https://www.reactgroup.org/antibiotic-resistance/the-threat/
  4. European Cancer Information System (ECIS), Incidence and mortality 2018. (ONLINE). Available at: https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/explorer.php?$0-0$1-AE28$4-1,2$3-All$6-0,14$5-2008,2008$7-7$CEstByCancer$X0_8-3$CEstRelativeCanc$X1_8-3$X1_9-AE28
  5. Rawla et al., 2018. Epidemiology of gastric cancer: global trends, risk factors and prevention. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444111/ 
  6. World Health Organisation, WHO publishes list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed. (ONLINE). Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/27-02-2017-who-publishes-list-of-bacteria-for-which-new-antibiotics-are-urgently-needed
  7. OECD. Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year. (ONLINE) Available at: https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/stopping-antimicrobial-resistance-would-cost-just-usd-2-per-person-a-year.htm

UEG Week: Plant-based foods and Mediterranean diet associated with healthy gut microbiome, research reveals

(Barcelona, October 21, 2019) A study presented at UEG Week 2019 has shown that specific foods could provide protection for the gut, by helping bacteria with anti-inflammatory properties to thrive. 

Researchers from the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands have found that certain foods including legumes, bread, fish, nuts and wine are associated with high levels of friendly gut bacteria that aids the biosynthesis of essential nutrients and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the main source of energy for cells lining the colon. The findings support the idea that the diet could be an effective management strategy for intestinal diseases, through the modulation of the gut bacteria.    The experts observed four study groups, the general population, patients with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The researchers analysed a stool sample provided by each participant to reconstruct the host’s microbiota and compared this with the results of a food frequency survey. The results identified 61 individual food items associated with microbial populations and 49 correlations between food patterns and microbial groups.  The experts found that: 
  • Dietary patterns rich in bread, legumes, fish and nuts, were associated with a decrease in potentially harmful, aerobic bacteria. Higher consumption of these foods was also associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in stool that are known to rise during intestinal inflammation
  • A higher intake of meat, fastfoods or refined sugar was associated with a decrease in beneficial bacterial functions and an increase in inflammatory markers
  • Red wine, legumes, vegetables, fruit, cereals, fish and nuts were associated with a higher abundance of bacteria with anti-inflammatory functions
  • Plant-based diets were found to be associated with high levels of bacterial SCFA production, the main source of energy for cells lining the colon
  • Plant protein was found to help the biosynthesis of vitamins and amino acids as well as the breaking down of sugar alcohols and ammonium excretion
  • Animal-derived and plant-derived protein showed opposite associations on the gut microbiota
Gut microbiota Gut microbiota is the term given to the microbe population living in the intestine. Studies have shown that gut microbes play an important role in human health, including immune, metabolic and neurobehavioral traits. Links have also been made to obesity and a lack of diversity of the microbiota has been shown in people with inflammatory diseases such as IBD, psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, atopic eczema, coeliac disease and arterial stiffness. In these diseases, certain diets have been implicated as risk factors and this new research indicates that gut microbiota may help explain the link between diet and disease.  The burden of intestinal diseases Intestinal diseases represent a significant cost burden to the European economy, population and healthcare systems. Approximately 3 million people in Europe are affected by IBD and it has an estimated direct healthcare cost of up to €5.6 billion. Obesity presents an even bigger public health concern, with over 50% of the European population considered overweight or obese and associated costs of €81 billion each year. Commenting, lead researcher Laura Bolte said, “We looked in depth at the association between dietary patterns or individual foods and gut microbiota. Connecting the diet to the gut microbiome gives us more insight into the relation between diet and intestinal disease. The results indicate that diet is likely to become a significant and serious line of treatment or disease management for diseases of the gut – by modulating the gut microbiome”.  To conclude the dietary recommendations that could be derived from the study, Bolte added, “A diet characterised by nuts, fruits, greater vegetable and legume intake than animal protein, combined with moderate consumption of animal derived foods like fish, lean meat, poultry, fermented low fat dairy, and red wine, and a lower intake of red meat, processed meat and sweets, is beneficially associated with the gut ecosystem in our study.” 

Summary of the key findings in relation to food or food pattern and effect on the gut microbiota

Food/Food Pattern

Observed effect on gut microbiota 

Plant-based diet

Associated with bacterial production of SCFAs, the main source of energy for the cells lining the colon. 

Plant Protein

Associated with the biosynthesis of vitamins and amino acids and the degradation of sugar alcohols. Also associated with an increase in friendly bacteria Bifidobacteria and a decrease in Blautia and Streptococci.

Animal Protein

Associated with an increase in Blautia and Streptococci and a decrease in Bifidobacteria. 

Low-fat fermented dairy

Associated with an increase of friendly bacteria and their functions: Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium bifidum. 

Mediterranean dietary pattern compromising plant protein, bread, legumes, vegetables, fish, nuts, wine 

Associated with increased abundances of friendly bacteria Roseburia hominis, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Bifidobacteria and carbohydrate fermenting pathways which provide cells in the gut with energy.

Bread & Legumes





Fish & Nuts

Food combinations associated with a decrease in bacterial species that have been linked to inflammation and obesity: Bacteroides fragilis, Escherichia coli (E.coli), and Clostridium bolteae. Also associated with a decrease in functional pathways of aerobic bacteria and enterobacteria.

Associated with reduced inflammatory markers in blood and stool.

 

Meat, potatoes & gravy

Sweets & table sugar, Fastfood & softdrinks

Food combinations associated with an increase in functional pathways of aerobic bacteria and enterobacteria.

Associated with increased inflammatory markers in blood and stool. 

Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Laura Bolte, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or by email media@ueg.eu We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release.  About Laura Bolte Laura Bolte is a dietician currently pursuing an MD and PhD in the field of nutrition and the gut microbiome. Her research is conducted at the dept. of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) under supervision of Prof. Rinse Weersma. She graduated with a degree in Nutritional Sciences in Germany, where she performed research on diet-mediated endocrine and metabolic changes in diabetes, obesity as well as malnutrition.  The research presented at UEG Week 2019 has been subject of her medical thesis and is nominated as best thesis at the UMCG. Laura’s research interests also extend to the diet-gut microbiome relation in melanoma, aiming to identify dietary factors and microbial targets to improve responsiveness to immunotherapy in cancer patients.   About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health.  Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository. 
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Bolte, L. et al. 2019. Towards anti-inflammatory dietary recommendations based on the relation between food and the gut microbiome composition in 1423 individuals. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona October 21, 2019.
  2. Valdes, Ana M., et al. "Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health." Bmj 361 (2018): k2179.
  3. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. 2013. The burden of inflammatory bowel disease in Europe. Available at: https:// www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1873994613000305.
  4. Eurostat. (2019). Overweight and obesity - BMI statistics. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Overweight_and_obesity_-_BMI_statistics
  5. Cuschieri, S., & Mamo, J. (2016). Getting to grips with the obesity epidemic in Europe. SAGE Open Medicine, 4, 2050312116670406.

UEG Week: IBD prevalence three times higher than previous estimates and expected to rise further, new study reveals

(Barcelona, October 21, 2019) The number of people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is three times higher than previous estimates, with sufferers also at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), according to new research presented today at UEG Week Barcelona 2019. 

Researchers from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS trust and the University of Birmingham examined IBD cases from the beginning of the century to attain accurate data on ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD) prevalence in the UK. Previously, only limited or old data existed, but by utilising data from the Health Improvement Network (THIN), a nationally representative UK primary care database, this new evidence demonstrates that IBD prevalence is three times higher than previously reported, with UC and CD prevalence increasing by 55% and 83% respectively, between 2000 and 2017. The study also showed that IBD prevalence is predicted to rise by almost a quarter from 2017 to 2025.   Affecting over 3 million people across Europe, inflammatory bowel diseases are a group of disorders involving chronic inflammation of the gut. The severity of the symptoms and the long-lasting nature of the diseases can have an extremely debilitating impact on the lives of sufferers. For example, higher rates of depression and reduced workforce participation in patients with UC and CD has been reported in previous studies, with an estimated 44% of IBD sufferers claiming they had lost or quit their job because of IBD. Researcher, Dominic King, from the University of Birmingham, who is presenting the findings for the first time at UEG Week, comments “Our study suggests that IBD prevalence is likely to rise substantially over the next decade. As there is currently no known cure for IBD, patients will often need complex and costly treatments throughout their lives. This predicted rise in prevalence may place an even greater strain on already overburdened healthcare systems.”  “The burden of IBD is compounded further by an association with colorectal cancer”, comments Dr King. “Our study found that patients suffering from Crohn’s disease had a 23% increased risk of developing CRC compared to matched controls, whilst ulcerative colitis patients had a significantly elevated risk of 43%. The rise in prevalence of IBD could therefore potentially lead to an associated rise in CRC cases.”  Accurate evidence on the IBD burden is essential for service planning to ensure patients receive an excellent standard of care across Europe. “The results of the study are alarming, particularly if we consider the fact that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are lifelong diseases that can begin at a young age and have a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life”, commented Salvo Leone, President of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA). “The cost to society, either through direct medical costs or indirect costs such as lost days at work, lost educational opportunities, or caring for an affected family member, are enormous. We need to put all our efforts into developing effective treatment and disease management strategies that allow patients and their families to lead happier and healthier lives.” Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Dominic King, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or by email media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release.   About Dr Dominic King Dr Dominic King is a gastroenterology trainee based in the West Midlands, UK. He attained his medical degree at the University of Birmingham. He is currently undertaking a doctoral research programme, investigating the inflammatory bowel diseases using routinely gathered data from both primary and secondary care.  About EFCCA The European Federation of Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA) is an umbrella organisation representing 39 national Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis (collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD) patient associations.  We are an organization of people united in our commitment to improve the life of the over 10 million people living with IBD worldwide (3.4 million in Europe alone) and to give them a louder voice and more visibility.  About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning.  About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health.  Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository. 
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  Follow UEG on Twitter  References
  1. King. D et al. 2019. Incidence and Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the UK between 2000 and 2016 and Associated Mortality and subsequent risk of Colorectal Cancer. Presented at UEG Week October 21, 2019.
  2. The European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), Basic Information, Brussels. (ONLINE): Available at: http://www.efcca.org/en/basic-information
  3. Burisch. J, Jess. T, Martinato. M, Lakatos. P, on behalf of ECCO-EpiCom (2013). The burden of inflammatory bowel disease in Europe. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp. 322-337. 

UEG Week: Faecal microbiota transplantation is effective in irritable bowel syndrome, but having a ‘super-donor’ is essential

(Barcelona, October 21, 2019) The results of a large, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study have confirmed that faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) using a single ‘super-donor’ is an effective and well tolerated treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), producing high rates of clinical response and marked symptom improvements. The study reported today, which involved a large cohort of patients with various subtypes of IBS, used several enhanced methodologies, and highlighted the importance of donor selection for optimising the effectiveness of FMT as a treatment for IBS. 

Speaking at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, lead investigator, Professor Magdy El-Salhy from Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, explained: “Microbiota dysbiosis is thought to play an important role in the pathophysiology of IBS, however, previous studies investigating FMT in this condition have produced conflicting results.  “We set out to optimise our chances of treatment success by selecting a single, well-defined donor* who fulfilled European guidelines for FMT donors, and who had a favourable faecal microbial profile.”  The study randomized 164 individuals with IBS and moderate-to-severe IBS symptoms (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Severity Scoring System [IBS-SSS] ≥175) to receive either placebo (a solution containing their own faeces), a 30 g donor transplant solution, or a 60 g transplant solution. Unlike in previous studies, the transplant material had been stored frozen (–80 °C/–112 °F), and was administered after thawing into the proximal duodenum via gastroscope – obviating the need for bowel preparation prior to transplantation and making it easier to perform in clinical practice. The primary efficacy endpoint of the study was the percentage of patients who achieved a ≥50-point reduction in IBS-SSS at 3 months after FMT (response to treatment).  According to Prof. El-Salhy, a response to FMT treatment was observed in 23.6% of individuals who received placebo, 76.9% of individuals who received a 30 g transplant, and 89.1% of individuals who received a 60 g transplant. Clinically significant symptom improvement [a ≥175-point reduction in IBS-SSS] occurred in 5.5%, 35.2%, and 47.3% of individuals in the placebo, FMT 30 g and FMT 60 g treatment groups, respectively. Significant improvements in fatigue (Fatigue Assessment Scale) and quality of life (IBS-Quality of Life instrument) were also observed in the FMT treatment groups compared with the placebo group. An analysis of faecal bacterial profiles showed changes in the abundance of different bacteria in the two FMT groups, but not in the control group.  “Adverse events after FMT occurred in about 20% of patients and were mild and self-limiting gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation,” said Prof. El-Salhy. “These occurred intermittently in the first 2 days following FMT.”  Prof El-Salhy and colleagues believe this study confirms that FMT is an effective treatment for IBS, but stress the importance of using a super-donor to achieve treatment success. “We got lucky when we found our donor after screening several other candidates, and we hope the selection criteria we used will help other groups find similar individuals,” noted Prof. El-Salhy. “The use of frozen faeces eliminates the logistical problems associated with FMT involving fresh faeces, making it possible to establish bio-banks for the routine use of FMT in clinical practice.”  Notes to Editors *The ‘super-donor’ was an athletic Caucasian male aged 36 years. He was a healthy, non-smoker, with a normal BMI, who trained five times per week. He had been born via vaginal delivery and breast fed; he was not taking any regular medications, had only received three courses of antibiotics during his lifetime, and regularly took dietary supplements rich in proteins, vitamins, fibre, and minerals.  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Magdy El-Salhy, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or by email media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release.  About Professor Magdy El-Salhy Professor Magdy El-Salhy is a Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Bergen University, and consultant gastroenterologist at Stord Hospital, Norway  About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter  References
  1. El-Salhy M, Haltebakk JG, Gilja OH, et al. Effects of faecal microbiota transplantation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Presented at UEG Week October 21, 2019.
  2. Enck P, Mazurak N. Dysbiosis in functional bowel disorders. Ann Nutr Metab. 2018;72(4):296-306.
  3. Johnsen PH, Hilpusch F, Cavanagh JP, et al. Faecal microbiota transplantation versus placebo for moderate-to-severe irritable bowel syndrome: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, single-centre trial. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018;3(1): 17-24.
  4.  Halkjaer SI, Christensen AH, Lo BZS, et al. Faecal microbiota transplantation alters gut microbiota in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: results from a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Gut. 2018;67(12):2107-15.

Poor oral health linked to a 75% increase in liver cancer risk, new study finds

(Vienna, June 18, 2019) Poor oral health is associated with a 75% increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer, new research published in UEG Journal has found.

The study, by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, analysed a large cohort of over 469,000 people in the UK, investigated the association between oral health conditions and the risk of a number of gastrointestinal cancers, including liver, colon, rectum and pancreatic cancer. Models were applied to estimate the relationship between cancer risk and self-reported oral health conditions, such as painful or bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and loose teeth.  Whilst no significant associations were observed on the risk of the majority gastrointestinal cancers and poor oral health, a substantial link was found for hepatobiliary cancer.    “Poor oral health has been associated with the risk of several chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes”, explained Dr Haydée WT Jordão, from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and lead author of the study. “However, there is inconsistent evidence on the association between poor oral health and specific types of gastrointestinal cancers, which is what our research aimed to examine.”  Of the 469,628 participants, 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the (average) six-year follow up. In 13% of these cases, patients reported poor oral health. Participants with poor oral health were more likely to be younger, female, living in deprived socioeconomic areas and consumed less than two portions of fruit and vegetables per day.  The biological mechanisms by which poor oral health may be more strongly associated with liver cancer, rather than other digestive cancers, is currently uncertain. One explanation is the potential role of the oral and gut microbiome in disease development. “The liver contributes to the elimination of bacteria from the human body”, stated Dr Jordão. “When the liver is affected by diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer, its function will decline and bacteria will survive for longer and therefore have the potential to cause more harm. One bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum, originates in the oral cavity but its role in liver cancer is unclear. Further studies investigating the microbiome and liver cancer are therefore warranted.”  Another theory in explaining the higher cancer risk due to poor oral health suggests that participants with a high number of missing teeth may alter their diet, consuming softer and potentially less nutritious foods, which in turn influence the risk of liver cancer.  Liver cancer is the sixth bigger cancer killer in the EU, claiming the lives of almost 60,000 people per year. The five-year survival rate for the disease across Europe is just 11%4 and approximately 9 in 10 cases are in individuals over the age of 55 ref media pack3. It is believed that up to half of cases of liver cancer are preventable, with risk factors often relating to lifestyle, such as overweight or obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.  Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an expert interview, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
About Queens University Belfast Queen’s University Belfast is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities. Queen’s is a global top 200 university and is a UK top ten research-intensive university. Founded by Queen Victoria in 1845, as one of three Queen’s Colleges in Ireland, it became an independent university in its own right in 1908 and, today, combines its international academic reputation with its standing as a leader in innovation and education. The University has won six Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education, five Times Higher Education Awards, and is currently the leading institution in the UK for the commercialisation of its intellectual property and for knowledge transfer partnerships. Four Global Research Institutes are the University’s flagships for interdisciplinary research in areas of major societal challenge, including inclusive secure and enriched societies, technology futures and a healthy global population.   Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:               Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu References
  1. UEG Journal. 2019. The association between self-reported poor oral health and gastrointestinal cancer risk in the UK Biobank: A large prospective cohort study. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2050640619858043
  2. World Cancer Research Fund report on Diet, Nutrition and Liver cancer risk: https://www.wcrf-uk.org/uk/preventing-cancer/cancer-types/liver-cancer
  3. ECIS - European Cancer Information System: https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
  4. Cancer Research UK, Liver Cancer Survival Statistics: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/liver-cancer/survival#heading-One
  5. International Liver Congress 2019 Media Pack: https://ilc-congress.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/EASL-ILC-2019-Media-Kit-Final.pdf
  6. Cancer Research UK, Liver Cancer Statistics: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/liver-cancer#heading-Three
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