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

Millions of Europeans at risk of chronic digestive diseases, new report reveals

(Vienna, May 21, 2019) Poor nutritional choices, including a high intake of ultra-processed foods and trans-fats, are putting millions of Europeans at an increased risk of a range of chronic digestive diseases, including digestive cancers, wheat related disorders and functional GI disorders, as well as obesity, a new report shows. 

‘Nutrition and Chronic Digestive Diseases’, launched today by United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and supported by twelve medical associations, patient organisations and NGOs, canvasses the opinion of a number of leading experts in the fields of nutrition, digestive cancers, liver diseases, functional gastrointestinal disorders and paediatrics.  The Ultra-processed Food Endemic:
The report outlines how ultra-processed foods, which are often high in fat, added sugar and salt, now frequently contribute to up to half of modern European energy intake and, in some countries, over 75% of mean energy intake.  Consumption of ultra-processed foods has dramatically increased in recent decades, with common examples including soft drinks, confectionary, crisps and frozen ready meals. Studies have shown that the consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with an increased risk of cancer and suggest that the rapidly increasing consumption of these food types may be driving the growing cancer burden. A 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet, for example, is associated with a 12% increased overall cancer risk.  In addition to a raised risk of chronic diseases, high consumption of these foods also increases the prevalence of obesity. Alarmingly, over half (52%) of the EU’s population aged 18 and over is now overweight or obese and 1 in 3 of Europe’s school children are estimated to be overweight. “Obesity, often driven by poor nutritional choices, increases the risk of a range of serious digestive health conditions and causes a significant healthcare burden, high societal costs, misery for patients and, ultimately, shortens lives”, explains Professor Markus Peck, Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria. “Healthy balanced diets and lifestyles can help prevent chronic digestive diseases but the difficulty we face is ensuring our citizens make the right choices in following these lifestyles.” An Action Plan for Europe:
The report makes a number of recommendations in order to reduce the risk and impact of chronic digestive diseases, including: 
  • Less than 10% (<50 grams), but ideally 5%, of total daily energy intake of sugar
  • Less than 10% of total daily energy intake of saturated fats
  • Less than 1% of total daily energy intake of trans-fats
  • Less than 5g of salt per day
“We need the European Commission and national governments to act now on initiatives to change the way in which we buy and consume food”, states Professor Peck. “Our aim should be to achieve a European-wide transformation to healthy diets by 2050. This would require the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar to be reduced by more than 50% over the next 30 years.”  “If we are to fight the burgeoning prevalence of overweight, obese and unhealthy people in Europe, and the healthcare burden and loss of life that it brings, then we must act now”, concludes Professor Peck.  

% Adult Obesity Rates in Europe (*self-report data)

Country

Male Obesity %

Female Obesity %

Malta

36.9

31.3

Romania

29.4

34.1

Greece

27.9

25.6

England

27.4

30

Cyprus

27

28.8

Scotland

27

30

Ireland (Northern)

26

27

Ireland (Republic)

25.8

21.3

Portugal

25.5

32

Italy

24.5

24.9

Poland

24.2

23.4

Luxembourg

24.1

21

Czech Republic

23.9

22.3

Germany

23.3

23.9

Spain

22.8

20.5

Hungary*

22

20.4

Wales*

22

23

Slovenia *

21

17.4

Croatia

20.7

16.8

Finland

20.4

19

Estonia*

19.1

21.5

Latvia*

18.8

23.3

Slovakia

18.1

15.9

France

16.8

17.4

Sweden

15.5

14.4

Denmark *

14.1

15.6

Belgium

13.9

14.2

Austria

13.4

10.7

Bulgaria

13.4

19.2

Lithuania

11.3

15.2

Netherlands

10.4

10.1

  

% Childhood Overweight Rates in Europe (*self-report data)

Country

Male Overweight %

Female Overweight %

Malta

43.2

38.7

Croatia

38.7

31

Italy

37.2

34.7

Spain

32.3

29.5

Cyprus

31.5

25.6

Greece

31

29.1

Portugal

30.9

32

Bulgaria

30.4

28.3

Denmark*

29.3

21.1

England

28.6

29

Ireland (Northern)

28

25

Austria

28

25.9

Slovenia*

27.4

22.7

Wales*

27.1

27

Latvia*

25

21

Romania

24.6

22.6

Germany

24.2

23.8

Scotland

24

29

Finland

23.8

20.1

Czech Republic

23

20

Luxembourg

23

22

Slovakia

22.6

20.7

Sweden

22.6

21.2

Lithuania

21.4

19.9

Hungary*

21.4

23.7

Poland

20.8

14.4

Belgium

16.9

13.5

Netherlands

16.8

15.4

Ireland (Republic)

16

19

France

14.4

18.7

Estonia*

13.6

14.9

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 the Report Access ‘Nutrition and Chronic Digestive Diseases: An Action Plan for Europe’ The report was produced by UEG, with support and endorsement from:
  • The Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS)
  • Digestive Cancers Europe (DiCE)
  • The European Association for Gastroenterology, Endoscopy and Nutrition (EAGEN)
  • The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)
  • The European Cancer Organisation (ECCO)
  • The European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA)
  • The European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (EHMSG)
  • The European Society of Digestive Oncology (ESDO)
  • The European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM)
  • The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN)
  • The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN)
  • The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO)
About Professor Markus Peck
Professor Markus Peck is the Chairman at the Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology (IMuG) at Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee in Klagenfurt, Austria. He is the Chair of the UEG Public Affairs Committee. 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. 
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

Failures in colonoscopy affecting detection of colorectal cancer across Europe 

(Vienna, March 26, 2019) Leading European gastroenterologists are calling for widespread improvements in the quality of colonoscopies throughout the continent to help reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates.

Colonoscopy is a widely performed procedure for patients with lower gastrointestinal symptoms, conducted to aid CRC detection and explore causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. An integral element of CRC screening programmes, it is fundamental that colonoscopy procedures are of the highest possible quality to maximise early cancer detection and ensure patient comfort and wellbeing.

Leading CRC expert, Professor Evelien Dekker, from United European Gastroenterology (UEG), explains, “Progression from non-cancerous polyps to colorectal cancer will usually take between 10-15 years, leaving a long window of opportunity to detect and even prevent this disease. Besides prevention, early detection of colorectal cancer can lead to a 90% chance of survival and, to ensure these survival rates are achieved, high levels of quality in colonoscopy procedures are essential.”

Experts also believe that the Netherlands can act as a best practice example for the rest of Europe after becoming the second European country to report on quality indicators of colonoscopy.[1] Their CRC screening programme demonstrates the highest participation levels across the continent [73%] and recent pilot and implementation studies have taken place to investigate the most effective way of organising screening programmes, including the choice of the screening method and how to encourage participation from members of the public.[2] “Our studies concluded that the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is the optimal screening method”, commented Professor Dekker. “Those with a positive result are referred for a colonoscopy.”

A key indicator of colonoscopy quality are rates of post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer (PCCRC)[3], which occurs when individuals receive a negative colonoscopy result but are subsequently diagnosed with cancer. Whilst this can be the result of a rapidly growing new tumour that was not present during the colonoscopy, it is more commonly an indicator of suboptimal endoscopy quality. PCCRCs are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than screen-detected cancer[4], decreasing the chance of survival.

To ensure colonoscopies are performed at a quality level that minimises the incidence of PCCRCs, the Dutch CRC screening programme outlines certain criteria and requirements for endoscopists conducting the procedure (see Table 1). In line with this, the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE), in collaboration with UEG, has recommended seven key performance measures that should be adopted across Europe. (see Table 2)

“We believe that our Dutch experience can serve as an example for colonoscopy quality assurance programmes across Europe”, comments Professor Dekker. “As well as ensuring that the programme maximises detection rates, the criteria assesses patient comfort scores so we can analyse and account for the wellbeing of our patients. Performing procedures that are as comfortable as possible for patients will help to reduce the negative stigma associated with colonoscopies.”

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 

CRC is the second most common cancer in the EU, with over 378,000 new cases each year[5]. With almost 175,000 deaths annually, it’s the EU’s second largest cancer killer behind lung cancer[6].

To raise awareness of CRC, European Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month takes place throughout March. To mark the month, UEG have developed an animated video to educate European policymakers, members of the public and healthcare professionals on the importance of reducing CRC incidence and mortality rates through participation in cost-effective screening and heightening awareness of key CRC symptoms and risk factors.

View the Face Up To Colorectal Cancer video

Table 1: Overview of all quality criteria for endoscopists performing colonoscopy with the Dutch CRC screening programme, defined by the national working group for quality requirements of colonoscopy[7]

Quality Criteria

Description

Accreditation Criterion

Audit Criterion

Qualifications and Experience

Professional registration

Endoscopists are responsible for professional and re-registration according to the Individual Health Care Occupations Act

Demonstratable

Demonstratable

Accreditation

Accreditation based on the final attainment levels for an endoscopist according to the Dutch Society of Gastroenterologists

Demonstratable

Demonstratable

Number of colonoscopies

Total number of colonoscopies performed

≥500 lifetime

≥200 per year

Number of polypectomies

Number of polypectomies performed

≥50 lifetime

≥50 per year

Completeness of Examination

(Unadjusted) cecal intubation rate

Percentage of colonoscopies with cecal intubation

≥90% (unadjusted)

≥95% (unadjusted)

Bowel preparation

Percentage of colonoscopies in which the colon is sufficiently clean to inspect the mucosa

-

≥90%

Withdrawal time

Percentage of negative colonoscopies* with a withdrawal time of at least 6 minutes

-

≥90%

Detection Rates

Cancer detection rate

Percentage of colonoscopies in which (more than) one cancer is detected

-

Monitoring

Adenoma detection rate

Percentage of colonoscopies in which (more than) one adenoma is detected

≥20%

≥30%

Mean number of adenomas per colonoscopy

Mean number of adenomas per procedure (colonoscopy)

-

Monitoring

Mean number of adenomas per positive colonoscopy

Mean number of adenomas per positive procedure (colonoscopy)

-

Monitoring

Removal Rates

Polyp removal rate

Percentage of polyps removed relative to the total number of polyps detected at colonoscopy

≥90%

≥90%

Polyp retrieval rate

Percentage of polyps retrieved for histologic evaluation relative to the total number of polyps detected at colonoscopy

Monitoring

≥90%

Tattooing

Tattooing

The percentage of cancers that were tattooed, except from those cancers located in the cecum and up to 4cm from the dentate line

-

Monitoring

Wellbeing of Patients

Adverse event record

Keeping a complete adverse event record

Demonstratable

Demonstrable

Adverse events during colonoscopy

Percentage of colonoscopies in which an adverse event occurred (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Perforation rate colonoscopy

Perforation rate of all colonoscopies (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Perforation rate polypectomy

Perforation rate for colonoscopies with polypectomy (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Polypectomy bleeding

The rate of bleeding for colonoscopies with polypectomy (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Patient Satisfaction

Comfort score

Percentage of colonoscopies in which the patient experiences moderate or severe discomfort

-

Monitoring


*Negative colonoscopies are colonoscopies in which no colorectal polyps or CRC has been detected.

Table 2: The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and United Gastroenterology’s (UEG) list of seven key performance measures for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy[8]

Performance Measure

Standard

1.     Rate of adequate bowel preparation

Minimum standard 90%

2.     Cecal intubation rate

Minimum standard 90%

3.     Adenoma detection rate

Minimum standard 25%

4.     Appropriate polypectomy technique

Minimum standard 80%

5.     Complication rate

Minimum standard not set

6.     Patient experience

Minimum standard not set

7.     Appropriate post-polypectomy surveillance recommendations

Minimum standard not set

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 Professor Evelien Dekker

Professor Evelien Dekker is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a CRC screening expert at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (location AMC), Dept of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Netherlands.

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
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. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2019. Quality assurance of colonoscopy within the Dutch national colorectal cancer screening program.
  2. Dutch Ministry of Public Health. 2019. Available at: https://www.rivm.nl/bevolkingsonderzoek-darmkanker-voor-professionals/achtergrond-en-ontwikkelingen/feiten-en-cijfers. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  3. BMJ. Post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer (PCCRC) rates vary considerably depending on the method used to calculate them: a retrospective observational population-based study of PCCRC in the English National Health Service. Available at: https://gut.bmj.com/content/64/8/1248. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  4. United European Gastroenterology. One in four cases of CRC diagnosed within two years of a negative screening result. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/one-in-four-cases-of-crc-diagnosed-within-two-years-of-a-negative-screening-result/. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  5. ECIS. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. 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$7-8$2-All$CEstByCancer$X0_8-3$CEstRelativeCanc$X1_8-3$X1_9-AE28. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  6. ECIS. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. 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$7-8$2-All$CEstByCancer$X0_8-3$CEstRelativeCanc$X1_8-3$X1_9-AE28/. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  7. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2019. Quality assurance of colonoscopy within the Dutch national colorectal cancer screening program.
  8. NCBI. 2017.Performance measures for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy: a European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) quality improvement initiative. Available at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28507745. (Accessed 14 March 2019).

Pancreatic cancer death rates rising across Europe, report reveals

(Vienna, November 15, 2018) Pancreatic cancer death rates in the European Union (EU) have increased by 5% between 1990 and 2016, a report launched today reveals. This is the highest increase in any of the EU’s top five cancer killers which, as well as pancreatic cancer, includes lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer. 

‘Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe’, published by United European Gastroenterology (UEG) to coincide with World Pancreatic Cancer Day, examines the past and current state of pancreatic cancer care and treatment, as well as the future prospects, such as targeting the microbiome, for improving the prognosis for patients. Whilst lung, breast and colorectal cancer have seen significant reductions in death rates since 1990, deaths from pancreatic cancer continue to rise. Experts also believe that pancreatic cancer has now overtaken breast cancer as the third leading cause of death from cancer in the EU.  Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival of all cancers in Europe. Responsible for over 95,000 EU deaths every year, the median survival time at the point of diagnosis is just 4.6 months, with patients losing 98% of their healthy life expectancy. Often referred to as ‘the silent killer’, symptoms can be hard to identify, thus making it difficult to diagnose the disease early which is essential for life-saving surgery. Despite the rise in death rates and dreadfully low survival rates, pancreatic cancer receives less than 2% of all cancer research funding in Europe. Markus Peck, UEG expert, explains, “If we are to take a stand against the continent’s deadliest cancer, we must address the insufficient research funding; that is where the European Union can lead the way. Whilst medical and scientific innovations have positively changed the prospects for many cancer patients, those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have not been blessed with much clinically meaningful progress. To deliver earlier diagnoses and improved treatments we need to engage now in more basic as well as applied research to see real progress for our patients in the years to come.” Microbiome – the key to turning the tide? After forty years of limited progress in pancreatic cancer research, experts claim that new treatment options could finally be on the horizon as researchers investigate how changing the pancreas’ microbiome may help to slow tumour growth and enable the body to develop its own ‘defence mechanism’. The microbial population of a cancerous pancreas has been found to be approximately 1,000 times larger than that of a non-cancerous pancreas and research has shown that removing bacteria from the gut and pancreas slowed cancer growth and ‘reprogrammed’ immune cells to react against cancer cells. This development could lead to significant changes in clinical practice as removing bacterial species could improve the efficacy of chemotherapy or immunotherapy, offering hope that clinicians will finally be able to slow tumour growth, alter metastatic behaviour and ultimately change the disease’s progression. Professor Thomas Seufferlein, pancreatic cancer expert, comments, “Research looking at the impact of the microbiome on pancreatic cancer is a particularly exciting new area, as the pancreas was previously thought of as a sterile organ. Such research will also improve our understanding of the microenvironment in a metastatic setting and how the tumour responds to its environment. This will inform the metastatic behaviour and ultimately alter disease progression.” “With continued investment in pancreatic cancer research, we should have new, important findings within the next five years and, hopefully, find that targeting the microbiome as well as tumour cells will significantly improve treatment outcomes and reduce death rates”, adds Professor Seufferlein. Access the report
References:
  1. Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe: Taking a united stand (2018). Published by United European Gastroenterology.
  2. Ferlay J., Partensky C., Bray F. More deaths from pancreatic cancer than breast cancer in the EU by 2017. ACTA Oncologica, August 2016.
  3. Our World In Data, Cancer death rates by type (per 100,000), world. Available at: https://ourworldindata.org/cancer
  4. European Cancer Information System (ECIS), Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. Available at: https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/explorer.php?$0-0$1-AE28$2-All$4-1,2$3-All$6-0,14$5-2008,2008$7-8$CEstByCancer$X0_8-3$CEstRelativeCanc$X1_8-3$X1_9-AE28
  5. Pancreatic Cancer Europe, 10 things you need to know about pancreatic cancer. Available at: https://www.pancreaticcancereurope.eu/work-streams/awareness-and-diagnosis/
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 Professor Markus Peck Professor Markus Peck is the Chairman at the Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology (IMuG) at Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee in Klagenfurt, Austria. He is the Chair of the UEG Public Affairs Committee. About Professor Thomas Seufferlein Thomas Seufferlein is a pancreatic cancer expert from the University of Ulm, Germany. He is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee. 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.
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

UEG Week: European colorectal cancer rates in young adults increasing by 6% per year

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates across Europe in adults aged 20 to 39 years increased by 6% every year between 2008 and 2016, new research has shown.

Data from 20* European national cancer registries was used to analyse trends in incidence rates of young adults with CRC across Europe over the last 25 years. For colon cancer, incidence rates increased by 1.5% per year between 1990-2008 and, more substantially, by 7.4% annually between 2008-2016. For rectal cancer, incidence rates increased by 1.8% per year from 1990-2016. In adults aged 40 to 49 years, overall CRC incidence rates increased by 1.4% every year from 2005. Presenting the research for the first time at UEG Week Vienna 2018, Dr Fanny Vuik explained, “We are aware of investigations in the North American population that demonstrates that colorectal cancer is increasing in young adults. In Europe, however, information until now has been limited and it’s worrying to see the startling rates at which colorectal cancer is increasing in the young.” Traditionally considered a disease that affects people over the age of 50, CRC is the second most common cancer across Europe, with approximately 500,000 new cases every year and incidence rates higher in men than women. Studies have found that young-onset CRC is often more aggressive and more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage than CRC in older populations. “The cause for this upward trend is still unknown, although it may be related to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, obesity and poor diets, all of which are known colorectal cancer risk factors”, added Dr Vuik. “Increased awareness and further research to elucidate causes for this trend are needed and may help to set up screening strategies to prevent and detect these cancers at an early and curable stage.” Strong evidence supports that screening for CRC reduces incidence and mortality rates, although many CRC screening programmes in Europe commence at the ages of 50 and 55. Inequalities in the type of screening offered, as well as participation and detection rates, are currently present throughout the continent. Dr Vuik adds, “The highest increase in incidence was found in adults between 20-29 years of age. Therefore, identifying those young adults at high risk of CRC is essential to ensuring early diagnosis and optimal patient outcomes.” * The countries included in the research were; Belgium, Catalonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Fanny Vuik, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr Fanny Vuik Dr Fanny Vuik is PhD candidate under supervision of Dr. Manon Spaander, Associate Professor in Gastroenterology at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam the Netherlands. 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. 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 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. Vuik, F. et al. 2018). Increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults in Europe. Presented at UEG Week Vienna, October 22, 2018.
  2. ECIS - European Cancer Information System. 2018. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. Available here. [Accessed 18 September 2018].
  3. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2017. Colorectal cancer in young adults: A difficult challenge. Available here. [Accessed 18 September 2018].

UEG Week: Does the gut microbiota hold the key to improved diagnosis and treatment of oesophageal cancer?

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Oesophageal microbiota may help to improve the diagnosis and management of oesophageal cancer, according to the results of a study presented today. Researchers from Italy directed by Professor Cammarota have found a unique pattern of microbes living in the oesophagus of people with oesophageal cancer or Barrett’s oesophagus, which could potentially be used to identify at-risk individuals and pave the way for new types of treatment in the future.  

Speaking at UEG Week 2018 in Vienna, Austria, lead researcher, Dr Loris Riccardo Lopetuso from the Catholic University of Rome, Italy, said: “Despite the introduction of novel therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, the prognosis for people with oesophageal cancer remains poor. We need to develop a better understanding of what causes normal oesophageal cells to become malignant so we can find at-risk individuals as early as possible and develop alternative therapeutic strategies.” Oesophageal cancer is the 8th most common cancer worldwide and the 6th most common cause of cancer-related death. Most people present with established disease, so rates of mortality are high in most countries. Known risk factors include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), obesity, smoking, low fruit/vegetable intake, and alcohol consumption, but other factors, including upper digestive tract microbiota are thought to be involved. In the study presented today, researchers aimed to characterize the composition of the oesophageal microbiota in patients with oesophageal cancer compared with patients with Barrett’s oesophagus and a control group of people with no evidence of the disease. Biopsy samples from six newly-diagnosed patients with oesophageal cancer, 10 with Barrett’s oesophagus and 10 controls were analysed for microbiota composition. A higher level of bacterial diversity was reported for patients with oesophageal cancer compared with the controls; there was a relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and a relative paucity of Firmicutes (different categories of microbiota) in the patients with oesophageal cancer compared with the controls. There were also lower levels of Streptococcus, and higher levels of Veillonella, Porphyromonas, and Prevotella (different types of bacteria) in those with oesophageal cancer compared with Barrett’s oesophagus patients and the controls. “These results indicate that there is a unique microbial signature for oesophageal cancer that might represent a risk factor for this condition,” said Dr Lopetuso. “If these findings are confirmed in our further analyses, it may be possible to imagine innovative diagnostic and therapeutic tools to help us manage this condition more successfully.” Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Loris Riccardo Lopetuso, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu 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 societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 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 standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 
  • 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, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU 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.
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Lopetuso LR, Ianiro G, Severgnini M, et al. Characterization of esophageal microbiota in patients with Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. UEG Journal 2018. Presented at UEG Week Vienna 2018.
  2. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Dikshit R, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. Int J Cancer. 2015;136(5):E359-86.
  3. Gupta B, Kumar N. Worldwide incidence, mortality and time trends for cancer of the oesophagus. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2017;26(2):107-118.
  4. Engel LS, Chow WH, Vaughan TL, et al. Population attributable risks of esophageal and gastric cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 Sep 17;95(18):1404-13.
  5. Yang L, Chaudhary N, Baghdadi J, et al. Microbiome in reflux disorders and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Cancer J. 2014;20(3):207-10.

UEG Week: Microplastics discovered in human stools across the globe in ‘first study of its kind’

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Microplastics have been found in the human food chain as particles made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) and others were detected in human stools, research presented today at the 26th UEG Week in Vienna reveals.

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria monitored a group of participants from countries across the world, including Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the UK and Austria. The results show that every single stool sample tested positive for the presence of microplastic and up to nine different plastic types were identified. Microplastics are small particles of plastic less than 5mm and are used in various products for specific purposes; as well as being created unintentionally by the breaking down of larger pieces of plastic through weathering, degradation, wear and tear. Microplastic may impact human health via the GI tract where it could affect the tolerance and immune response of the gut by bioaccumulation or aiding transmission of toxic chemicals and pathogens. The pilot study was conducted with eight participants from across the globe. Each person kept a food diary in the week leading up to their stool sampling. The diaries showed that all participants were exposed to plastics by consuming plastic wrapped foods or drinking from plastic bottles. None of the participants were vegetarians and six of them consumed sea fish. The stools were tested at the Environment Agency Austria for 10 types of plastics following a newly developed analytical procedure. Up to nine different plastics, sized between 50 and 500 micrometres, were found, with polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) being the most common. On average, the researchers found 20 microplastic particles per 10g of stool. Lead researcher Dr. Philipp Schwabl, who is presenting the findings at the 26th UEG Week, commented: “This is the first study of its kind and confirms what we have long suspected, that plastics ultimately reach the human gut. Of particular concern is what this means to us, and especially patients with gastrointestinal diseases. While the highest plastic concentrations in animal studies have been found in the gut, the smallest microplastic particles are capable of entering the blood stream, lymphatic system and may even reach the liver. Now that we have first evidence for microplastics inside humans, we need further research to understand what this means for human health.” Global plastics production has increased substantially from the 1950s and continues to grow every year. For their many practical characteristics, plastics are pervasive in everyday life and humans are exposed to plastics in numerous ways. It is estimated that, through pollution, 2-5 % of all plastics produced end up in the seas. Once in the ocean, plastics are consumed by sea animals and enter the food chain where ultimately, they are likely to be consumed by humans. Significant amounts of microplastic have been detected in tuna, lobster and shrimp. Beyond that it is highly likely that during various steps of food processing or as a result of packaging food is being contaminated with plastics. Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Philipp Schwabl, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr. Philipp Schwabl Dr. Philipp Schwabl is a researcher and physician scientist at the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medical University of Vienna, in the research team of Prof. Dr. Thomas Reiberger, and presenting this study at the UEG Week Vienna 2018. About Dr. Bettina Liebmann Dr. Bettina Liebmann is a consultant on environmental analyses and respected expert on microplastics at the Environment Agency Austria. She guides the method development for microplastic analysis by micro FT-IR spectroscopy and imaging and works on microplastic projects at both national and international level. About Umweltbundesamt – Environment Agency Austria The Environment Agency Austria is the most important national environmental expert organisation and one of Europe´s leading environmental consultants. Since 2007, the organisation has been operating an accredited human biomonitoring laboratory where blood, urine, tissue etc. are analyzed for a variety of environmental contaminants. Furthermore, the Environment Agency Austria is an international pioneer in the analysis of microplastics.  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 societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 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 standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 
  • 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, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU 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
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter References
  • Schwabl, P. et al (2018), Assessment of microplastic concentrations in human stool – Preliminary results of a prospective study, Presented at UEG Week 2018 Vienna, October 24, 2018.
  • European Chemicals Agency. 2018. Microplastics. [ONLINE] Available at: https://echa.europa.eu/hot-topics/microplastics. [Accessed 21 August 2018].
  • Hohenblum P., Liebmann B., Liedermann M. (2015): Plastic and Microplastic in the Environment. Environment Agency Austria, Vienna. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/fileadmin/site/publikationen/REP0551.pdf
  • Powell JJ, Thoree V, Pele LC. Dietary microparticles and their impact on tolerance and immune responsiveness of the gastrointestinal tract. The British journal of nutrition. 2007;98 Suppl 1:S59-63.
  • Geyer, Roland, Jenna R. Jambeck, and Kara Lavender Law. "Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made." Science advances 3.7 (2017): e1700782.
  • Romeo T, Pietro B, Peda C, Consoli P, Andaloro F, Fossi MC. First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine pollution bulletin. 2015;95(1):358-361.
  • Murray F, Cowie PR. Plastic contamination in the decapod crustacean Nephrops norvegicus (Linnaeus, 1758). Marine pollution bulletin. 2011;62(6):1207-1217.
  • Devriese LI, van der Meulen MD, Maes T, et al. Microplastic contamination in brown shrimp (Crangon crangon, Linnaeus 1758) from coastal waters of the Southern North Sea and Channel area. Marine pollution bulletin. 2015;98(1-2):179-187.

UEG Week: Cannabis significantly improves the symptoms of Crohn’s disease

(Vienna, October 22, 2018) In the first study of its kind, cannabis oil has been shown to significantly improve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and the quality of life of sufferers but, contrary to previous medical thinking, has no effect on gut inflammation.

In a randomised, placebo-controlled study, researchers from Israel have shown that cannabis can produce clinical remission in up to 65% of individuals after 8 weeks of treatment, but that this improvement does not appear to result from a dampening down of the underlying inflammatory process. Speaking at UEG Week 2018 in Vienna, lead researcher, Dr Timna Naftali explained, “Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and studies have shown that many people with Crohn’s disease use cannabis regularly to relieve their symptoms.It has always been thought that this improvement was related to a reduction in inflammation in the gut and the aim of this study was to  investigate this.”  The Israeli team recruited 46 people with moderately severe Crohn’s disease, and randomized them to receive 8 weeks of treatment with either cannabis oil containing 15% cannabidiol and 4% tetrahydrocannabinol or placebo. Symptom severity and quality of life were measured before, during, and after treatment using validated research instruments. Inflammation in the gut was assessed endoscopically and by measuring inflammatory markers in blood and stool samples.  After 8 weeks of treatment, the group receiving the cannabis oil had a significant reduction in their Crohn’s disease symptoms compared with the placebo group, and 65%met strict criteria for clinical remission (versus 35% of the placebo recipients). The cannabis group also had significant improvements in their quality of life compared with the placebo group. “We have previously demonstrated that cannabis can produce measurable improvements in Crohn’s disease symptoms4 but, to our surprise, we saw no statistically significant improvements in endoscopic scores or in the inflammatory markers we measured in the cannabis oil group compared with the placebo group,” said Dr Naftali. “We know that cannabinoids can have profound anti-inflammatory effects but this study indicates that the improvement in symptoms may not be related to these anti-inflammatory properties.” Looking ahead, the research group plans to explore further the potential anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. “There are very good grounds to believe that the endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target in Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal diseases,” said Dr Naftali. “For now, however, we can only consider medicinal cannabis as an alternative or additional intervention that provides temporary symptom relief for some people with Crohn’s disease.’ Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Tinma Naftali, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr Timna Naftali Dr Timna Naftali is an MD Specialist in Gastroenterology at Meir Hospital and Kupat Holim Clinic, Tel Aviv University, Israel. 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. 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 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
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Naftali T, Bar-Lev Schlieder L, Konikoff F, et al. Cannabis induces clinical response but no endoscopic response in Crohn’s disease patients. Presented at UEG Week Vienna 2018, October 22, 2018. 
  2. Lal S, Prasad N, Ryan M, et al. Cannabis use amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011;23(10):891-6.
  3. Weiss A, Friedenberg F. Patterns of cannabis use in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A population based analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015;156:84-89.
  4. Naftali T, Bar-Lev Schleider L, Dotan I, et al. Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn's disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11(10):1276-1280.e1.

UEG Week: New research links Crohn’s disease to Black Death

(Vienna, October 22, 2018) European incidence of Crohn’s disease is likely to be a result of surviving the Black Death in the middle ages, according to new research presented today at the 26th UEG Week in Vienna. 

Researchers from Paris, France studied historical data on the intensity of plague outbreaks from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin between 800 and 1850AD. They found that there was statistical significance between outbreak intensities and Crohn’s disease-associated mutations in the general population – which help to explain modern-day prevalence of Crohn’s disease in Europe. Crohn’s disease is a chronic relapsing condition that, together with ulcerative colitis, comprises the disease known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The researchers looked at the gene NOD2 which plays an important role in the body’s immune system but mutations of which are related to the development of Crohn’s disease. Mutations of NOD2 have been shown to aid the resistance of the organism that causes the plague and the results of the study show that the prevalence of these mutations associated with Crohn’s disease are correlated with the intensities of plague outbreaks. Approximately 3 million Europeans are now affected by IBD, which costs European health systems up to €5.6 billion per year. The causes of IBD are not fully known, although research strongly suggests that both genetic and environmental factors play a significant role. IBD can lead to an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer and, whilst symptoms may develop at any age, the peak age of IBD onset is during adolescence or early adulthood. The Black Death was responsible for the deaths of millions of Europeans and is thought to have killed between 30-40% of the European population between 1347 and 1353. Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot, one of the leading researchers involved in the French study explains, “Considering the potential severity of Crohn’s disease when untreated, it is unlikely that it was a frequent disease before the 20th century. As healthcare systems have developed and care for Crohn’s disease patients has improved, more and more people are living with the disease. This research goes some way to explaining the genetic origins of Crohn’s and we hope it will enable us to better understand the disease, and how to treat it, in the future.” Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot is an IBD specialist and his research is focused on genetics and IBD. He is head of the Paediatric Digestive and Respiratory Diseases Department at the Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, France. 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. 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 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
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter  References
  1. Dumay, A. et al (2018), Is Crohn’s Disease the price to pay today for having survived the Black Death? Presented at UEG Week Vienna 2018, October 22, 2018.
  2. Yamamoto, S & Ma, X (2009), Role of Nod2 in the development of Crohn’s disease. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924159/  
  3. Burisch, J. et al (2013), The burden of inflammatory bowel disease in Europe. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1873994613000305
  4. United European Gastroenterology (2012), The Survey of Digestive Health in Europe. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/research/white-book/

One in 10 IBS with diarrhoea patients wish they were dead when their condition is bad

 

(Vienna, August 7, 2018) Eleven percent of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea (IBS-D) patients reveal that they suffer from suicidal thinking when their condition is bad, a new study has found.

The research, published in the UEG Journal, assessed the burden associated with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea by surveying 513 patients and 679 healthcare professionals. A quarter of patients reported that IBS stops them from enjoying life and 11% agreed with the statement; ‘when my IBS is bad, I wish I was dead’. IBS is a functional bowel disorder, characterised by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. The disease affects 11% of adults globally, of whom one third experience diarrhoea as the predominant symptom. IBS-D is considered to be a brain-gut interaction disorder and a range of treatment approaches have been proposed, including diet and lifestyle modifications, probiotics and fibre supplements and various prescription and over-the-counter medications. Over a third of patients reported that they ‘constantly’ worry about whether and when their IBS symptoms will return and one in five stated that IBS had negatively affected their working life. Patients also revealed that, on average, they spend 18 days per month experiencing fatigue or a lack of energy. Half of patients reported that they would use a daily treatment for the rest of their life if it prevented their IBS symptoms (49%) and a ‘willingness to try anything’ to improve their condition (46%). Despite these alarming statistics, the survey outlined that one third of IBS patients do not think that healthcare professionals take the disease seriously and should provide more support in disease management. When reviewing the attitudes of healthcare professionals towards IBS, results showed that two-thirds agreed that patients should feel listened to and supported, with the vast majority stating that the main aim of their care when managing IBS is significantly improving their patients’ quality of life. Professor Hans Törnblom, lead author of the study, comments on the findings, “IBS can be an extremely tough, emotional and difficult condition to live with and, in addition to dedicating resources to improve the physical burden of IBS, it is essential that care and investment is committed to providing psychological and emotional support for patients. This should come from multi-disciplined healthcare professionals, as well as family members, friends and colleagues.” “The majority of IBS sufferers do not seek medical advice for their condition” added Professor Törnblom. “Of those that do speak to a healthcare professional, it is clear that there are high levels of dissatisfaction with the level of care that they currently receive. Healthcare professionals experience a degree of uncertainty and complexity in managing IBS patients and the research indicates the need for higher levels of communication between care providers and patients to facilitate improved patient outcomes.” References: Understanding symptom burden and attitudes to irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea: Results from patient and healthcare professional surveys. UEG Journal. Published July 2018. Lacy BE, Mearin F, Chang L, et al. Bowel disorders. Gastroenterology 2016; 150: 1393–1407. Lovell RM and Ford AC. Global prevalence of and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis. Clinical Gastroenterol Hepatology 2012; 10: 712–721. Notes to Editors
For further information, to view the full paper or to arrange an expert interview, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Hans Törnblom
Professor Hans Törnblom is from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee. About UEG
UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 25,000 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 standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, 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, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU 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
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