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/

Child Safety Risk as Three Quarters of Paediatric IBD Patients Not Meeting Recommended Calcium and Vitamin D Intake

(Vienna, 15 May, 2017) A new study highlights that children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not meeting the daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D. The research, conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, identified that only 26.6% and 21.3% of paediatric IBD patients were achieving the current recommended intake for calcium and vitamin D respectively.

Medical experts from United European Gastroenterology (UEG) are therefore calling for immediate intervention to ensure that paediatric IBD patients are not put at risk of experiencing poor bone health and development, calcium homeostasis imbalance and vitamin D deficiencies. Achieving optimal levels of calcium and vitamin D is essential for developing children, especially in patients with IBD, as research suggests that children and adolescents with the disease develop suboptimal bone health in comparison to their peers. Therefore, they may not achieve optimal bone mineralisation, resulting in an increased risk of permanent height deficits. Vitamin D and calcium both play a major role in bone health and recently vitamin D has shown to potentiate the effect of anti-inflammatory treatments. However, ensuring a sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium in children can be challenging. Rita Shergill-Bonner, Principle Dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, explains, “When taking into account their young age and modern eating habits, coupled with the emotional, psychological and physical stress of living with IBD, it can be hard for paediatric patients to maintain a balanced diet and a sufficient intake of the right nutrients. We therefore urge the parents and carers of paediatric IBD patients to monitor their children’s diets carefully to ensure they are consuming the right foods to help their disease course and ensure adequate and normal development.”

“It is imperative that healthcare professionals provide all IBD patients with regular and frequent advice on nutrition and healthy eating habits, including guidance on food sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D” - Professor Gigi Veereman, UEG paediatric IBD expert.

There is no solitary cause of IBD but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Incidence rates have been steadily increasing over the past few decades and one in four cases of the disease are diagnosed during childhood. Physical IBD symptoms can be extremely debilitating, including severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and fatigue. The disease can also have a significant impact on a patient’s psychological, emotional and mental health, with over half of sufferers feeling that the disease negatively affects their education. Professor Philippe van Hootegem, UEG IBD expert comments, “There are many effective drugs available to help treat IBD but there are still a lot of unmet needs in both child and adult patients. Interesting and hopeful new drugs, some of which are to be taken orally, are in their final development stage. Nevertheless, a definitive curative therapy is not on the horizon yet and future research is still needed.” “It is imperative that healthcare professionals provide all IBD patients with regular and frequent advice on nutrition and healthy eating habits, including guidance on food sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D”, adds Professor Gigi Veereman, UEG paediatric IBD expert. “Tailored care services, long-term follow up, regular reviews and frequent medical interventions are required to minimise additional health risk in our paediatric patients” May 29 is World Digestive Health Day and this year health organisations from around the world are coming together to highlight the issues affecting patients living with IBD.

Notes to Editors For further information and to schedule an interview with Professor Philippe van Hootegem, Professor Gigi Veereman or Rita Shergill-Bonner, please email media@ueg.eu or phone Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 The IBD Journey Video View the IBD Journey animated video Inflammatory Bowel Disease Infographic View and download our infographic on paediatric inflammatory bowel disease About Professor Philippe van Hootegem Professor Philippe van Hootegem is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Sint-Lucas General Hospital, Bruges, Belgium. About Professor Gigi Veereman Professor Gigi Veereman is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium. About Rita Shergill-Bonner Rita Shergill-Bonner is a Principle Gastroenterology Dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, England. About the Research The study was presented at the 12th Congress of ECCO, Barcelona, February 15-18, 2017. 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. Find out more by visiting www.ueg.eu 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
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • 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
References 
  1. Shergill-Bonner R., et al. Paediatric IBD patients do not meet the daily recommendations of vitamin D and calcium intake: survey based analysis in a tertiary centre. Presented at the 12th Congress of ECCO, Barcelona, February 15-18, 2017. Available here: https://www.ecco-ibd.eu/index.php/publications/congress-abstract-s/abstracts-2017/item/p707-paediatric-ibd-patients-do-not-meet-the-daily-recommendations-of-vitamin-d-and-calcium-intake-survey-based-analysis-in-a-tertiary-centre-2.html
  2. B. Wilson, S. Lönnfors, S. Vermeire. The true impact of IBD: a European Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patient life. IMPACT Survey 2010-2011. Available here: http://www.efcca.org/sites/default/files/IMPACT-STUDIE_online.pdf

UEG Week: Experts call for urgent change in the care of young adults with IBD

(Vienna, October 19, 2016) Today, world leading digestive health experts are presenting a pioneering new programme that could have a significant impact on the quality of life of young adults living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Experts believe that the programme could help combat the poor and, in some cases, life-threatening care offered to young IBD patients across Europe.

IBD can be an extremely debilitating condition and one of the key issues concerning clinicians is the transition from paediatric to adult care. This is fraught with difficulty and, with the incidence of paediatric IBD currently rising, many young people enter adult care with extreme and complex forms of the disease which is often mismanaged. The lack of support and effective management during the transition can have severe consequences for both the individual and the healthcare system. 

The Berliner TransitionsProgramm (BTP), established in Germany, has reported its first successes in the safe and effective transition of childhood IBD patients into adult care. The programme lasts two years for each child and involves close collaboration between paediatricians and adult care colleagues.

Professor Britta Siegmund, a member of the BTP Task Force discussed the encouraging findings at UEG Week 2016. “Following the success of results in other disease areas, IBD was incorporated into the programme two years ago. Transitioning programmes are initiated in the paediatric setting and involve a gradual process aimed at building the young person’s understanding of their condition to help prepare them and their families for a move into adult care. So far, our experience demonstrates that the young people who have taken part have arrived into adult care very positively.” 

The BTP can serve as a role model that can be adapted to the health service of each country.

One in four cases of IBD are diagnosed during childhood and over 50% of sufferers believe that IBD negatively effects their education. “With the change of care occurring at such a crucial age for our patients, it highlights the importance of a smooth and supportive transition to enable young adults to lead normal lives and prevent the disease from impacting their education and lifestyle” says Professor Siegmund. 

As well as IBD, the BTP also includes other long-term paediatric conditions, such as juvenile diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis, kidney disease and asthma. When a patient is included in the programme, a case manager is assigned who takes care of all the practical issues, maintains contact with the patient throughout the process and ensures that they are comfortable throughout the programme. Where needed, the patient can see both their paediatrician and their new treatment team during the transition.  

Providing all the materials, structure and support required to transition children safely, Professor Siegmund hopes that the success of the programme will provide a framework that can be incorporated across the rest of Europe. She explains, “The BTP can serve as a role model that can be adapted to the health service of each country. One of the critical success factors for the programme is to ensure that children are transitioned into the care of specialists who really understand adolescents and are willing to invest the time in them. All physicians who agree to take part in the programme fulfil this requirement and are committed to the success of the project.”

For more information on the BTP, please visit: http://www.drk-kliniken-berlin.de/westend/krankenhaus-westend/berliner-transitionsprogramm/

Access the release in German (PDF)
Access the release in English (PDF)

References 

1.    UEG  EU Affairs. Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe: Early Nutrition, Liver Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/epaper/UEG_Paediatric_Digestive_Health_Report/index.html

2.    Baldassano RN, Piccoli DA. Inflammatory bowel disease in pediatric and adolescent patients. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 1999;28:445–58.

3.    Trivedi I, Holl JL, Hanauer S et al. Integrating adolescents and young adults into adult-centered care for IBD. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 2016;18:21.

4.    The IMPACT Survey, 2011, EFCCA. Available at: http://efcca-solutions.net/

Notes to Editors 

For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Britta Siegmund, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

About Professor Britta Siegmund

Professor Siegmund is from the Medical University of Berlin and is a member of the Berliner TransitionsProgramm in inflammatory bowel disease. Her interests include contributing towards the understanding of inflammatory bowel disease and identifying possible novel therapeutic targets.

About Professor Gigi Veereman (UEG Spokesperson)

Professor Veereman is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and Secretary General at the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. 

About UEG Week

UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress, attracting up to 13,000 participants from 116 countries. 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 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
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • 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

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

UEG Week: Clinicians welcome new initiatives to help improve outcomes for patients with functional GI disorders

(Vienna, October 18, 2016) European clinicians and research scientists attending UEG Week 2016 have welcomed the publication of new criteria for the diagnosis and classification of functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, together with the launch of several major initiatives designed to enhance understanding of these disorders and help clinicians in the care of their patients. Delegates attending UEG Week in Vienna embraced the initiatives, which have been inspired by publication of the new Rome IV criteria for functional GI disorders and were showcased today by Dr Douglas A. Drossman, the current President of the Rome Foundation.  

Speaking at UEG Week, Dr Drossman outlined the need to update the definitions and conceptual understanding of functional GI disorders, leading to the development of the Rome IV classification and the research and educational initiatives that have followed. “The Rome III criteria were published in 2006 and, in the last 10 years, we have seen unprecedented progress in our understanding of functional GI disorders and now have better treatments available for many of them,” he said. “In developing the Rome IV criteria, we wanted to include new diagnoses, emphasize the importance of the gut­–brain interaction in the pathophysiology of these conditions, and improve their diagnosis and treatment using new learning tools.”

We now want to help clinicians in Europe and around the world to understand the new criteria, integrate them into their own diagnostic work-ups and optimize their patient management.

What’s new in Rome IV?

The Rome IV criteria contain a number of major changes, which were based on both new evidence and expert consensus. Major changes in Rome IV include: 

  • The redefinition of functional GI disorders as ‘disorders of the gut–brain interaction’ and the removal of the term, ‘functional’ when not needed.
  • The addition of new diagnoses, including opioid-induced constipation, narcotic bowel syndrome, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome and reflux hypersensitivity.
  • Threshold changes for diagnostic criteria to improve their clinical meaningfulness.
  • Revision of sphincter of Oddi (SOD) disorder criteria
  • Reconceptualization of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its sub-types, with removal of the term ‘discomfort’ from its diagnostic criteria. 

“These changes reflect our growing understanding of many different aspects of functional GI disorders and they should help support future research and enhance clinical practice,” said Dr Drossman. “We now want to help clinicians in Europe and around the world to understand the new criteria, integrate them into their own diagnostic work-ups and optimize their patient management.” 

To aid in the communication of the Rome IV concepts to clinicians, the educational materials have been published as the Rome IV 2-volume textbook and also supplementary clinically oriented books. These include diagnostic algorithms, multimodal treatment using the Multi-Dimensional Clinical Profile, as well as paediatric and primary care books. “In this manner, the clinician can find the book that is best targeted to his or specific interests” said Dr Drossman. 

Rome IV Interactive Clinical Decision Toolkit

As a means to further reach the needs of clinicians, the Rome Foundation has been working with new software to develop a powerful on-line, interactive toolkit that presents a combination of Rome IV diagnostic algorithms and Multidimensional Clinical Profile (MDCP) treatment guidelines. The toolkit guides clinicians through the complex challenges of working with patients with functional GI disorders, with users seeing all relevant decision pathways, and, by inputting their patients’ information, activating the pathways that lead to treatment recommendations for optimal outcomes. 

“Both the Rome IV diagnostic criteria and the MDCP guidelines are innovative in their learning approaches and we are pleased to have been able to combine these approaches in this interactive on-line toolkit,” explained Dr Drossman. “We anticipate that clinicians will be able to develop a more comprehensive knowledge and optimize the care of their patients by accessing the most up-to-date information developed by world experts.” 

Access the release in German (PDF)
Access the release in English (PDF)

References

1.    Drossman DA, Chang L, Chey WD, Kellow J, Tack J, Whitehead WE (eds). Rome IV functional gastrointestinal disorders: disorders of gut–brain interaction. Raleigh, NC: Rome Foundation, 2016.

2.    Drossman DA, Chang L, Chey WD, Kellow J, Tack J, Whitehead WE and the Rome IV Committees (eds). Rome IV Multidimensional Clinical Profile for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (2nd edition). Raleigh, NC: Rome Foundation, 2016. 

Notes to Editors

For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Douglas Drossman, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

About Dr Douglas Drossman

Dr Drossman is the current President of the Rome Foundation and his research relates to the clinical, epidemiological, psychosocial and treatment aspect of functional GI disorders. He has served as the Associated Editor of the journal Gastroenterology and has written over 500 articles and book chapters. 

About Professor Magnus Simren (UEG Spokesperson)

Professor Magnus Simren is the Chair of the UEG Scientific Committee and is a Consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. Professor Simren also sits on the Rome IV Committee, within the Microbiota Working Team.

About UEG Week

UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress, attracting up to 13,000 participants from 116 countries. 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 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
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • 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

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

New research shows impact of Crohn’s disease on brain function

(Vienna, 24 August 2016) New research published in the UEG Journal has found that Crohn’s disease sufferers experience slower response times than matched individuals that do not have the disease.

In a study of patients with Crohn’s disease, cognitive response times were 10% slower than normal and significantly correlated with symptoms of active inflammation, including abdominal pain and fatigue. Notably, the response times in Crohn’s patients were slower than those assessed in people over the legal drink drive limit in most EU countries (blood alcohol content above 0.05 g/100ml) when assessed with the same computer-based cognitive test in a similar study by the same group.  The results demonstrate the presence of mild cognitive impairment in Crohn’s patients and support patients’ frequent complaints of difficulties in concentration, clouding of thought and memory lapses. The study also demonstrated that Crohn’s patients had a higher median depression score and a poorer rating of sleep quality, which were associated with more severe cognitive impairment.  Crohn’s disease, one of the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) alongside ulcerative colitis, has seen a sharp increase throughout much of Europe in recent decades with higher incidence levels documented in northern and western parts of the continent. The disease can be extremely debilitating for patients and there is no solitary cause, although it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The research highlights the need for regular interventions with multi-disciplinary IBD teams to address the wide issues that are presented with Crohn's disease.

As well as the recognised bowel-related symptoms of Crohn’s disease such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea, the condition has now also been shown to impact cognitive function. Patients frequently experience cognitive symptoms, yet these symptoms are often ignored by clinicians. Dr Daniel van Langenberg, the lead researcher behind the findings, comments, “These results reinforce the notion that Crohn’s has a wide range of multi-systemic consequences with the impact of the disease affecting patients not only within but well beyond the digestive tract.”
Dr van Langenberg adds, “The findings appear consistent with experiments that have shown that bowel inflammation results in an upregulation of inflammatory hippocampus activity in the brain. This, in turn, might account for the slower response times that were observed in the study.” Professor Gigi Veereman, UEG inflammatory bowel disease expert, comments “This research highlights the need for regular interventions with multi-disciplinary IBD teams to address the wide issues that are presented with Crohn’s disease. This will enable a greater understanding of this complex condition and therefore improve the service and care offered to each patient.” Access the research in the UEG Journal Notes to Editors 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. Find out more by visiting www.ueg.eu 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
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • 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
About Dr van Langenberg Dr Daniel van Langenberg is the Head of IBD Service, Eastern Health and a Senior Lecturer at Monash University in Victoria, Australia. He is involved with clinical and research activities with specific interest and expertise in inflammatory bowel disease and function gastrointestinal disorders. About Professor Gigi Veereman Professor Gigi Veereman is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and Secretary General of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).   References  
  1. van Langenberg DR, Yelland GW, Robinson SR, Gibson PR. Cognitive impairment in Crohn’s disease is associated with systemic inflammation, symptom burden and sleep disturbance. UEG Journal. August 2016: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/08/07/2050640616663397.full.pdf+html
  2. Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/suppl/2014/10/13/2050640614554154.DC1/Full_Survey.pdf

IBD drug availability putting children at risk of lifelong health complications

(Vienna, June 21, 2016) At least a quarter of all patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) present symptoms during childhood. However, delays in paediatric clinical trials result in off-label adult medications being prescribed for children, with serious lifelong health risks, including growth failure and cancer. 

To halt the health risks for children and improve outcomes in the future, IBD experts across Europe are calling for an urgent increase in investment into paediatric clinical trials to ensure more drugs become available to improve treatment efficacy and reduce serious and unnecessary risks of therapy. Professor Gigi Veereman, spokesperson for United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and Consultant in Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, is leading the call for change and explains; “In spite of recent investment to advance the care of patients with paediatric inflammatory bowel disease all over Europe, there is still an urgent need for more paediatric clinical trials. We need to speed up the availability of appropriately formulated licensed treatments with proven safety profiles so that children with IBD can attain their full psycho-social and physical potential into adulthood, without any unnecessary long-term health risks such as growth failure, severe  infections and cancer. In addition, research on the effect of nutrition and the environment on these chronic diseases is very much needed.” According to UEG’s Survey of Digestive Health across Europe, the incidence of IBD has been steadily increasing across Europe over the last few decades and as many as 30% of all cases are diagnosed during childhood. However, traditional adult based therapies currently prescribed for children with inflammatory bowel disease can have potentially negative effects on the developing body, an example being the effects of corticosteroid therapy on bone density.  In fact, prolonged corticosteroid use has been found to contribute to the significant reduction in final adult height of almost 1 in 5 children.  Furthermore, recent studies report that younger patients also have treatment related complications, including the development of malignancies.  Specifically, some immunosuppressants have been found to increase the risk of skin cancers and uterine cervical cancers.  Currently, most of the drugs that are used in paediatric IBD have only been tested in children in small uncontrolled trials and only a few of the drugs have been approved for use in children after proper multicenter trials, resulting in a substantial proportion being prescribed off-label. As Professor Veereman highlights; “Children with IBD have different specific treatment needs and medication should aim beyond symptom control and also include restoration of growth and prevention of pubertal delay.” Luisa Avedano, CEO of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Association (EFCCA) adds; “IBD is becoming more and more common in children and can have a more severe disease course and worse prognosis than when diagnosed in adulthood. Children with inflammatory bowel disease often present around the time of their pubertal growth spurt, a time of dramatic psychological and physical transition for a child, so specific attention with medication should be paid to preventing disturbances in growth and development.” Significant improvements in the availability of specific paediatric IBD drugs is just one of a number of issues being raised by UEG as part of its initiative to improve the state of paediatric digestive health for the next generation throughout Europe. Notes to Editors For further information or to speak with Professor Gigi Veereman (or local paediatric digestive health expert) please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or email media@ueg.eu Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe – a report by UEG on the current state of early nutrition, liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease across Europe is available here.  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. Find out more by visiting www.ueg.eu 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. NOW OPEN FOR PRESS REGISTRATION
  • 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
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • 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

References
  1. United European Gastroenterology Journal: (1) Farthing M, Roberts S, Samuel D, Williams D, et al, Survey of digestive health across Europe: Final report. Part 1: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe, 2014 2: 195-196
  2. United European Gastroenterology Journal: (1) Farthing M, Roberts S, Samuel D, Williams D, et al, Survey of digestive health across Europe: Final report. Part 1: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe, 2014 2: 195-196
  3. Heuschkel R, Salvestrini C, Beattie RM et al. Guidelines for the management of growth failure in childhood inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008 Jun; 14 (6): 839-49
  4. Jauregui-Amezaga A, Vermeire S, Prenen H ‘Use of biologics and chemotherapy in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer.’ Ann Gastroenterol. 2016 Apr-Jun; 29 (2): 127-36
  5. Malmborg P, Hildebrand P ‘The emerging global epidemic of paediatric inflammatory disease – causes and consequences.’ Journal of Internal Medicine 2016 March; 279 (3): 241-258
  6. United European Gastroenterology. Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe. May 2016

Children’s digestive health across Europe in crisis

(Brussels, 31 May, 2016) A report investigating the current state of digestive health in children has revealed alarming trends in disease incidence and inequalities in the provision of digestive healthcare services for children across Europe. 

‘Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe’, commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), is published today and highlights how the current health burden and economic pressure of paediatric digestive health issues, in particular the increasing levels of childhood obesity, have become a pandemic issue throughout the continent.  The report canvasses the opinion of a number of paediatric GI specialists, including experts from UEG and current and past presidents of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), who highlight three particular areas of digestive health that show worrying trends and require urgent action. These include:  
  • In 46 European countries, one in every three children aged 6-9 years is now overweight or obese
  • Childhood onset of inflammatory bowel disease now accounts for 20-30% of all IBD cases
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease among children and adolescents in Western countries, with cases documented in children as young as 3 years old
Commenting on the current state of paediatric digestive health care in Europe, Professor Michael Manns, President of UEG, explains; “Across Europe we have leading paediatric experts and many centres of excellence. However, these are not widespread and currently cannot meet the needs of children throughout the continent. This has an impact on not just individuals and their families but on society and wider health service provision”. A call for change across Europe One of the main findings in the report is that many areas of digestive health follow a ‘one size fits all’ approach with many children following adult care pathways. Professor Berthold Koletzko, President of ESPGHAN, comments; “It is important for stakeholders and policy makers to appreciate that children have complex physical, psychological and social needs and these must be met by trained paediatric specialists to improve the accessibility of optimal care for children today and in future generations”. The report calls for urgent attention and resource investment in paediatric digestive health treatments and services to improve the prognosis for children who suffer from varying digestive health conditions.  A 6 point action plan, targeting key policy makers, stakeholders and health service providers, is outlined within the report to help encourage and deliver change and improve paediatric care across Europe. The 6 key actions are:  
  1. Further development of national strategies and public health campaigns for education, prevention and early intervention
  2. Improve and harmonise training standards through the development of a pan-European digestive health syllabus
  3. Enhance paediatric subspecialty training to understand the complex physical, psychological and social needs of children
  4. Develop transition services as patients move from teenage to adult care
  5. Encourage further research into childhood digestive diseases and early life programming to enable improved prevention strategies
  6. Further development of specialised centres for the optimal management of children with digestive diseases
The report will be issued to European policy makers today at the European Parliament, who will meet with leading health experts to discuss the latest research and areas for development examined in the review. The report is unveiled as part of UEG’s Digestive Health Month to raise awareness of digestive health issues across the continent. “In spite of 20% of the European population being children and the incidence of gastrointestinal diseases increasing, it is extremely worrying that only 1 out of 58 topics currently receiving EU research funding is focused on paediatric health” explains Professor Koletzko. “Priorities need to change quickly to appreciate the specific issues of paediatric digestive provision and ensure greater investment into prevention, cost-effective diagnostic measures and harmonised training”. Professor Manns adds; “UEG hope this report will encourage policy makers, stakeholders and health service providers to adopt the recommendations and prioritise the development of specific paediatric focused strategies for improving the digestive health of children today and for future generations”.

Access the report

Notes to Editors 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. Find out more by visiting www.ueg.eu 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. 
  • NOW OPEN FOR PRESS REGISTRATION
  • 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
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • 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
About the Report Commissioned by UEG, Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe, is a report that highlights the current levels of quality in paediatric digestive health throughout Europe, the current state of service provision and the potential impact on longer-term health outcomes and economies. The opinions of leading gastroenterologists and patient organisations have been utilised to help identify priority areas for improvement both now and in the future. Other key trends raised in the report include: 
  • It is predicted that the global number of children under five who are overweight will rise from the current 41 million to 70 million by 2025
  • The high cost of treating obesity and related disorders now represents up to 10% of total healthcare costs and threatens the sustainability of public healthcare systems across Europe
  • Delays in diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease are taking up to 5 years for 18% of under 18’s
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease prevalence continues to rise among paediatric patients, affecting up to 10% of Europe’s paediatric population
UEG Digestive Health Month The first UEG Digestive Health month, organised by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), has taken place throughout May. Held to raise awareness of digestive health conditions in Europe and highlight opportunities to help advance the treatment and prevention of related diseases, activity has featured on social media via the hashtag #DigestiveHealthMonth Contact Information For further information about the report and UEG’s activities, or to speak to a paediatric digestive health expert please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or email media@ueg.eu References 
  1. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/policy
  2. United European Gastroenterology Journal: (1) Farthing M, Roberts S, Samuel D, Williams D, et al, Survey of digestive health across Europe: Final report. Part 1: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe, 2014 2: 539-543
  3. Day CP. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a massive problem. Clin Med. 2011; 11:176-178
  4. 1000 Days: http://thousanddays.org/the-issue/obesity/
  5. Early Nutrition Project: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/wh/newsevents/newsarchive/earlynutritionfactsheet.pdf
  6. B. Wilson, S. Lönnfors, S. Vermeire. The true impact of IBD: a European Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis patient life. IMPACT Survey 2010-2011 http://efcca.org/media/files/press-Join-Fight/3PRESS_KIT_IBD_IMPACT_REPORT_BCN.pdf
  7. http://www.childliverdisease.org/News/Research-funded-by-Birmingham-charity-identifies-genetic-variant-in-childhood-liver-disease-

Vitamin D shows promise for treating Crohn’s disease in pilot study

(June 10, 2015) New research published in this month’s edition of United European Gastroenterology Journal suggests that supplementation with vitamin D may  impact on the intestinal barrier dysfunction associated with Crohn’s disease, and could have a role in the treatment of the condition.

The study is by Professor Maria O’Sullivan and Tara Raftery. Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Crohn’s disease (CD) is a lifelong chronic relapsing and remitting gastrointestinal condition, characterised by inflammation, which can involve any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. CD is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue and in many cases can result in a reduction of quality of life, time off work, hospitalisations and surgery. The exact causes are unknown; however, immune, genetic and environmental factors are thought to be involved. Incidence of CD varies across Europe, with up to 10 cases per 100,000 population per year. Generally, case rates are higher in northern and western Europe than southern and eastern Europe. There is emerging data that Vitamin D supplementation may prolong remission in CD; however, the clinical efficacy and underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this new research, the authors aimed to determine changes in gut barrier function (as determined by intestinal permeability and antimicrobial peptide concentrations) as well as disease markers in CD, in response to vitamin D supplementation. In a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study, the authors assigned 27 CD patients in remission to 2000 IU/day vitamin D supplementation or placebo for 3 months. They found, that patients treated with the supplementation were more likely to maintain their intestinal permeability, whereas this deteriorated in the placebo group. Increased intestinal permeability is considered a measure of gut leakiness, which is shown to predict and precede clinical relapse in CD. In addition, patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had signs of reduced inflammation (measured by C-reactive protein and antimicrobial peptides), and these patients also reported better quality of life. The authors conclude: “This is the first reporting of effects of vitamin D supplementation on intestinal permeability and antimicrobial peptide measures in a CD cohort. Whilst the data requires further confirmation, it broadly supports evidence from previous experimental studies that suggest a role for vitamin D in maintaining intestinal barrier integrity.”  Whilst the data is promising, the authors highlight that in order to understand its translation into treatment for CD, further larger randomised controlled trials will be required. UEG’s inflammatory bowel disease expert, Dr Charles Murray of the Royal Free Hospital, London, UK comments; “This is an exciting development in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and we welcome anything new that could potentially help patients with this debilitating condition”. Notes to Editors  Media Contacts Dr Charles Murray, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK - please contact Luke Paskins, UEG. T. +44 (0) 1444 811099.  E. media@ueg.eu Associate Professor Maria O’Sullivan, Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. T. + 353 1 896 4039. E. maria.osullivan@tcd.ie 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 Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world. MEDIA REGISTRATION NOW OPEN · 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 · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · 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 Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu For further information and interviews, please contact:         Luke Paskins: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 References For the full UEG Journal article, see: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/02/06/2050640615572176.full.pdf+html For further information on incidence of Crohn’s disease in Europe, see: https://ueg.eu/epaper/WhiteBook.Brochure/index.html#/6

Study: 1 in 10 Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients are misdiagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

(Vienna December, 15, 2014) A new study, published in the latest issue of the UEG Journal reveals that 10% of IBD patients are misdiagnosed with IBS and in 3% of cases the misdiagnosis can persist for five or more years. The case-controlled study, conducted in the UK, assessed the proportion of patients with IBS recorded prior to the IBD diagnosis to reveal the alarming statistics.

Leading IBD researcher and United European Gastroenterology (UEG) spokesperson Dr Michael Scharl says, “IBS has been estimated to affect at least 10% of the population in Europe and it causes distressing symptoms that disrupt normal life.” He explains, “We have known for some time that there are similarities between symptoms of IBS and IBD, but when it comes to diagnosis and treatment, this differs greatly.” He adds, “Misdiagnosis is understandable as many symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal cramping and pain are common to both and the specific alarm symptoms for IBD such as bloody stool, weight loss or fever are often absent in IBD patients in the initial phase of their disease. However, increased use of faecal calprotectin testing would help doctors distinguish between inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and non-inflammatory bowel diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome.” IBS has been estimated to affect at least 10 of the population in Europe. The initial misdiagnosis of IBD has serious consequences for patients, in particular those with Crohn's disease, since delays in diagnosis is correlated with an increased risk of bowel stenosis and CD-related intestinal surgery. Considering that the misdiagnosis of IBD might have severe consequences for a patient’s life, UEG are calling for increased efforts to be undertaken to screen symptomatic IBS patients for IBD. Screening tests for intestinal inflammation should be included in the work up of all new patients presenting with diarrhoea and pain. References: 1. Timothy R Card, Jesse Siffledeen and Kate M Fleming. Are IBD patients more likely to have a prior diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome? Report of a case-control study in the General Practice Research Database. 2: 505-512, UEG Journal December 2014. Available at: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/2/6/505.full Notes to Editors 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. Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Available for interview UEG Spokesperson, Dr Michael Scharl is an expert in both IBS and IBD and has recently been awarded a ‘UEG Rising Star’ award for his research which opens avenues for completely new treatment strategies for IBD and Crohn’s disease. Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 @UEGMedia

UEG puts the need for better care for IBD patients in Europe on the political agenda.

(Vienna, December, 02, 2014) With inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) thought to cost the European Community over €2 billion in annual healthcare costs, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) is calling for EU politicians and leading decision-makers to take a more active role in reducing the burden of the disease.

Presenting the results of a major ‘Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe’, to  the European Parliament in Brussels today, UEG aim to draw attention to the impact IBD and other digestive and liver diseases have on the health and economy of the European community. The ‘Survey of Digestive Health across Europe’ highlights major differences in the incidence of gastrointestinal disorders and long-term health outcomes amongst European communities. Amongst IBD sufferers, incidence of Crohn’s disease was found to be highest in northern and western regions of Europe whilst ulcerative colitis had the highest incidence in Ireland, Denmark and Finland and the highest incidence of IBD overall is in France. According to UEG President, Professor Michael Farthing, “IBD has an increasingly crippling impact both to society and to individuals, particularly, the huge proportion of young people who suffer. UEG aim to raise awareness amongst the European Parliament of the debilitating symptoms and resulting impact on quality of life and performance.”  As many as 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms are between the ages of 10 and 19 and nearly a fifth of under 18 year olds have to wait more than 5 years to receive a final diagnosis. Symptoms of IBD include faecal incontinence, abdominal cramping and extreme fatigue often resulting in depression and low self-esteem. The ‘Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe’ reveals that  21% of IBD sufferers across Europe felt they had been discriminated against in the workplace with 44% reported to have lost or had to leave their job. “The cost of IBD care has increased significantly over the past decade and it is vital that additional funding is made available to help reduce the health and societal burden of the disease through ensuring a quicker diagnosis and equitable access to the best treatment for all patients across Europe” adds Professor Farthing. Notes to Editors: About UEG 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. Find out more about UEG’s work at www.ueg.eu UEG Events at European Parliament, Brussels – December 2nd, 2014 Digestive Health Survey and Healthcare in Europe 2040: Scenarios and Implications for Digestive and Liver Diseases presentations Host/Chairs: MEP Pavel Poc and Professor Michael Farthing (UEG President) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A  rising threat to the health of young Europeans” Debate Host/Chairs: MEPs Rebecca Harms/Michele Rivasi and Professor Theirry Ponchon (Chair, UEG Public Affairs Committee) Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe The Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe was commissioned by UEG in the spring of 2013 at the request of its own Future Trends Committee. An experienced research group from Swansea University in Wales, UK, initiated a detailed assessment of digestive health across Europe, focussing on the clinical and economic burden of disease and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across 28 European Union (EU) member states, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Russia. The aim of the survey was to draw together all the available evidence and provide up-to-date information on the human health consequences and public health burden of GI disorders. Available for interview Professor Michael Farthing, UEG President Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel:+44(0)1444811099 @UEGMedia References 1. Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 2. Anderson P, Dalziel K, Davies E et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part two: The economic impact and burden of gastrointestinal diseases across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 3. Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A  Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4. EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 5. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

UEG calls for more specialist clinics to improve emotional and mental wellbeing of young people with IBD.

(August, 28, 2014) In response to a new study highlighting the impact of IBD on children, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe’s largest digestive health body, is calling for an increase in specialist IBD Clinics across Europe to quicken diagnosis times and improve treatment, helping to reduce the psychosocial impact IBD has on children and young people.

The Impact of IBD Study1 recently published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, reveals that almost a quarter of IBD sufferers feel they don’t have adequate access to a specialist and, as many as, 76% believed greater access to a specialist gastroenterologist would help improve IBD healthcare. The study also reports alarming delays in diagnosis, with 17% of under 18’s left waiting more than 5 years before receiving a final diagnosis, which can further impact on the patients’ mental wellbeing. 64% of patients needed emergency care before their diagnosis and 46% of patients were hospitalised for an average of 24 days, adding to the emotional stress of having IBD. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long condition that causes inflammation in the intestine and is increasing in children with 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms between the ages of 10 and 19.3  The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affecting around 70 in every 100,000 children2. Children with IBD are frequently considered emotionally vulnerable with some children found to have behaviour problems, psychiatric disorders, depression and diminished social competence. IBD can also cause delayed growth and development which increases the distress many children experience. UEG call for greater access to specialist gastroenterologists and clinics, particularly for children with IBD to help speed up diagnosis times and offer psycho-social support as part of the treatment plan. Dr Charles Murray, Consultant Gastroenterologist and UEG spokesperson, says, “It’s vital that children and young adults with IBD receive a quick diagnosis so that a treatment plan including psychosocial support can be put in place as soon as possible. Increased access to specialist gastroenterologists and clinics is essential to help these young people manage their condition successfully, enabling them to continue in education and work and significantly improve their quality of life and mental wellbeing.” References 1.     EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 2.    Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K et al. The prevalence and geographic distribution of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:1424–9. 3.    Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A  Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4.    The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 5.    Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Inflammatory bowel disease. Pediatr Clin North Am 2011; 58: 903-20. 6.    Minderhoud IM, Oldenburg B, van Dam PS, van Berge Henegouwen GP. High prevalence of fatigue in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease is not related to adrenocortical insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2003 May: 98 (5): 1088-93. Notes to Editors 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. Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu *EFCCA (European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations) Impact of IBD Study The IMPACT study was commissed in 2010-2011 by EFCCA and involved over 5000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), in 27 European countries. To find out more about EFCCA and the Impact Study visit: http://www.efcca.org/ To arrange a press interview with Dr Charles Murray, UEG Spokesperson and Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at The Royal Free Hospital, please contact Samantha Forster, details below.

Press contacts  

Samantha Forster: samantha@spinkhealth.com

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099



UEG calls for increased emotional support from primary care practitioners for children with IBD.

(August, 11, 2014) In response to a new study highlighting the impact of IBD on children, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe’s largest digestive health body, is calling for improved emotional support between doctors and health care professionals during consultations to minimise the psychosocial impact IBD has on children and young people.

The Impact of IBD Study1 recently published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, reveals that IBD can be difficult to diagnose with patients not always presenting with all the most common symptoms. The study also reports alarming delays in diagnosis, with 17% of under 18’s left waiting more than 5 years before receiving a final diagnosis, which can further impact on the patients’ mental wellbeing. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long condition that causes inflammation in the intestine and is increasing in children with 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms between the ages of 10 and 19.3 The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affecting around 70 in every 100,000 children2. Children with IBD are frequently considered emotionally vulnerable with some children found to have behaviour problems, psychiatric disorders, depression and diminished social competence. IBD can also cause delayed growth and development which adds to the emotional distress many children experience. UEG call for improved consultation techniques for both doctors and healthcare professionals to ensure depth and coverage of IBD issues so that no important information is missed when speaking with patients1. This is especially relevant as 64% of patients needed emergency care before their diagnosis and 46% of patients were hospitalised for an average of 24 days, adding to their stress of having IBD. Dr Nikhil Thapar, Consultant Gastroenterologist and UEG spokesperson, says, “It’s vital that both patients and doctors feel they can discuss all aspects of IBD whether it be diagnosis, treatment or condition management comfortably during a consultation. Doctors should also offer patients the opportunity to raise questions whilst providing them with the psychosocial support they may need to deal with their condition. IBD can make it impossible for young patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to continue in education and hold down a job. Therefore it is important they receive the psychological support to optimise their emotional and mental wellbeing” References 1. EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 2. Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K et al. The prevalence and geographic distribution of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:1424–9. 3. Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 5. Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Inflammatory bowel disease. Pediatr Clin North Am 2011; 58: 903-20. 6. Minderhoud IM, Oldenburg B, van Dam PS, van Berge Henegouwen GP. High prevalence of fatigue in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease is not related to adrenocortical insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2003 May: 98 (5): 1088-93. Notes to Editors 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. Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu *EFCCA (European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations) Impact of IBD Study The IMPACT study was commissed in 2010-2011 by EFCCA and involved over 5000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), in 27 European countries. To find out more about EFCCA and the Impact Study visit: http://www.efcca.org/ To arrange a press interview with Dr Thapar, UEG Spokesperson and Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, please contact Samantha Forster, details below. Press contacts Samantha Forster: samantha@spinkhealth.com Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

Incontinence and crippling fatigue disrupts education and ruins job prospects for children with IBD.

(June, 30, 2014) Debilitating daily symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) not only cause depression and psychological complications in young people, but also significantly disrupts their education and ability to stay at work. In response to a new study highlighting the impact of IBD on children, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe’s largest digestive health body, is calling for quicker diagnosis and treatment to minimise the impact IBD has on childrens’ education and future employment.

The Impact of IBD Study1 recently published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, reveals that a quarter of young IBD sufferers across Europe, had to take over 25 days off work in the last year and almost a third (31%) had lost or had to quit their job.1 61% felt that their symptoms had affected their ability to perform to their full potential in an educational setting1 with many having at least 3 months absent from school per year2 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long condition that causes inflammation in the intestine and is increasing in children with 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms between the ages of 10 and 19.3  The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affecting around 70 in every 100,000 children4. IBD can be difficult to diagnose with patients not always presenting with all the most common symptoms and the Impact of IBD Study also reports alarming delays in diagnosis with 17% of under 18’s waiting more than 5 years to receive a final diagnosis. This can further impact on the patients’ mental wellbeing and ability to plan for their future. As well as having to cope with the debilitating physical symptoms, including faecal incontinence and abdominal cramping, IBD patients also experience sleep deprivation and continual or profound fatigue which can severely affect their self-esteem5 and a quarter of these patients also suffer from depression.6   In fact, researchers have found that fatigue in people with IBD is comparable to those suffering from cancer7 making it extremely difficult to perform in the classroom or remain at work. Dr Nikhil Thapar, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist and UEG spokesperson, explains, “Constant fatigue and the fear of abdominal pain and incontinence, can make it impossible for young patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to continue in education and hold down a job. It is essential that they are diagnosed and begin treatment as quickly as possible to help them manage their symptoms enabling them to stay at school and continue to work.  It is also important that they receive psychological support, to optimise their mental and emotional wellbeing.”  References 1.     EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 2.     Moody G, Eaden JA, Mayberry JF. Social implications of childhood Crohn’s disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1999; 28: S43-5 3.    Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A  Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4.    Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K et al. The prevalence and geographic distribution of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:1424–9. 5.    The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 6.    Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Inflammatory bowel disease. Pediatr Clin North Am 2011; 58: 903-20. 7.    Minderhoud IM, Oldenburg B, van Dam PS, van Berge Henegouwen GP. High prevalence of fatigue in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease is not related to adrenocortical insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2003 May: 98 (5): 1088-93. Notes to Editors 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 Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world · Courses, covering the latest science and clinical information in the field, including diagnosis, treatment and real-life examples · UEG e-learning, an ever-expanding archive of over 11,000 documents and more than 1,000 multimedia items, as well as accredited e-courses · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · 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  Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu *EFCCA (European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations) Impact of IBD Study The IMPACT survey was commissed in 2010-2011 by EFCCA and involved over 5000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), in 27 European countries. To find out more about EFCCA and the Impact Survey visit: http://www.efcca.org/ To arrange press interview with Dr Nikhil Thapar, UEG Spokesperson and Consultant Gastroenterologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, please contact Samantha Forster, details below

Press contacts  

Samantha Forster: samantha@spinkhealth.com

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099



IBD and IBS

The inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are common, chronic inflammatory conditions that primarily affect young people in adolescence and early adulthood. Both IBD and IBS have increased in prevalence across Europe in recent decades.