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

New report calls for universal vaccination for hepatitis to reduce the crippling economic burden of the disease

(Vienna, July 28, 2016) To coincide with World Hepatitis Day, a new report, commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), calls for all European countries to adopt universal vaccination and harmonised screening programmes for hepatitis, as well as improved neonatal screening, to help speed up the eradication of the disease.

Almost 30 million people in the EU suffer from a chronic liver condition, one of the primary causes of which is hepatitis infection. Many of those with a chronic liver condition will have suffered since childhood and will require a lifetime of care at considerable economic cost. 

“Paediatric liver disease is becoming increasingly common in young children and, more importantly, chronic liver diseases in children represent a rising problem, with significant effects on public health and economic burden throughout Europe”, explains UEG liver expert, Helena Cortez-Pinto. “We urgently need to find a cost effective solution to control the spread of hepatitis and reduce the socio-economic burden of the disease and medical opinion suggests that the best solution in the current environment would be the adoption of universal vaccination for hepatitis B, and screening of high-risk groups”. Although the incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has declined significantly since the implementation of universal immunisation programmes in several countries, several member states still do not carry out routine childhood vaccination programmes and a significant number of children are still infected each year. In addition, there is no vaccine yet against Hepatitis C and infection rates continue to rise in Europe, with diagnosis rates rising by a third in England and considerably higher rates being recorded in southern Europe, including Italy, Romania and Spain. Both viruses not only cause severely impaired quality of life and developmental delay but also carry significant risk of cirrhosis and cancer. The European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA), warns of the financial impact of liver disease, specifically hepatitis, in their “White Paper Project – the socio-economic burden of hepatitis in Europe” and urges policy makers to consider that early screening and prevention would actually help save EU resources in the long-term. In support of World Hepatitis Day, the World Hepatitis Alliance launches its new campaign ‘#NOhep’ which aims to eradicate viral hepatitis by 2030. The Alliance estimates that more than 7 million lives could be saved worldwide by 2030 if universal vaccination programmes were introduced. For further information, go to worldhepatitisday.org/. View 'Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe'   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 World Hepatitis Day
Organised by The World Hepatitis Alliance to eradicate hepatitis. For further information on the Alliance visit www.worldhepatitisalliance.org. Contact Information For further information about the UEG report, UEG’s activities relating to hepatitis or to speak to a paediatric liver expert please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or email media@ueg.eu References
  1. United European Gastroenterology. Paediatric Health Across Europe. 2016
  2. European Liver Patients Association. 2005 [cited; Available from: http://www.elpa-info.org/]
  3. Public Health England. 2013
  4. ECDC – Hepatitis B and C. Current situation in the EU/EEA
  5. El-Shabrawi MH, Kamal NM. Burden of Pediatric hepatitis C. World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov 28; 19 (44): 7880-7888

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-

UEG Week: Obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy increase risk of obesity in childhood

(Barcelona, October 26, 2015) Overweight and obese women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy may be putting their babies at risk of a lifetime of obesity. Today, experts from United European Gastroenterology are calling for women of childbearing age to aim to maintain a normal body weight, and for expectant mothers to stay physically active and consume a balanced diet to avoid permanent damage to their child’s health.

Speaking at the 23rd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2015) in Barcelona, Spain, Professor Berthold Koletzko from Hauner Children’s Hospital at the University of Munich, Germany, explains that evidence is mounting that excessive weight gain as well as early nutrition play a vital role in many aspects of future health. “We know that a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet in pregnancy increase the risk of children becoming overweight and obese, but we now also think that babies in the womb can have their genetic make-up permanently altered depending on the mother’s diet”, he said. Childhood obesity epidemic The incidence of obesity among children is rising at an alarming rate. According to the World Health Organisation, between 1990 and 2013, the number of obese children aged less than 6 years increased from 32 million to 44 million globally – an increase of almost 40%. If current trends continue, by 2025, it has been estimated there will be 70 million obese young children worldwide. Many factors contribute to the development of obesity in childhood, including the child’s genetic make-up, the consumption of energy-dense, high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt foods, and a lack of physical activity. Studies have also suggested that overweight and obese women at the time when they become pregnant are much more likely to have fatter children than those who are not overweight before or during pregnancy. According to Prof. Koletzko, exposure of the unborn child to an excess of fuels such as glucose and fatty acids may cause permanent metabolic reprogramming in the child that leads to life-long obesity after birth. “Perhaps even more worryingly, these metabolic and epigenetic changes can be passed from generation to generation, which has major public health implications,” he said. Lifestyle during pregnancy and optimized infant feeding Maintaining physical activity and following a balanced diet with limited sugar and saturated fat during pregnancy can be effective in reducing a very high birth weight of babies, a key risk factor for obesity in later life. After birth, improved infant feeding is an effective tool for obesity prevention. In a large controlled study including children in five European countries, Prof. Koletzko and his team demonstrated that an improved infant formula, with lowered protein content - more similar to the protein level in breast milk – lowered the rate of obesity at the early age of 2 by 9 fold, as compared to conventional protein-rich bottle milk. He comments “These results demonstrate that improving nutrition and lifestyle during the first 1,000 days of life, including pregnancy and the first two years of childhood, provide enormous opportunity for improving lifelong health and well-being”. The Early Nutrition Project Prof. Koletzko and researchers from 12 European countries, the USA and Australia have launched the Early Nutrition Project (http://www.project-earlynutrition.eu/eneu/) to study how early nutritional programming and lifestyle factors impact the rates of obesity and related disorders, with a budget of more than 11 million Euros. “We believe that if we can understand how metabolic reprogramming in early life alters an individual’s susceptibility to becoming overweight, we might be able to intervene to prevent or even reverse the process,” he said. Access this press release in Spanish Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Gasbarrini, 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 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 @UEGMedia References 1. Koletzko B, Brands B, Chourdakis M, Cramer S, Grote V, Hellmuth C, et al. The Power of Programming and The Early Nutrition Project: opportunities for health promotion by nutrition during the first thousand days of life and beyond. Ann Nutr Metab 2014;64:141–50. 2. Oddy WH, Mori TA, Huang RC, Marsh J, Pennell C, Jacoby P, et al. Early infant feeding and adiposity risk: from infancy to adulthood. Ann Nutr Metab. 2014;64:215–23. 3. Koletzko B, Chourdakis M, Grote H, Hellmuth C, Prell C, Rzehak P, et al. Regulation of early human growth: impact on long-term health. Ann Nutr Metab. 2014;64:141–50. 4. Koletzko B, Bauer CP, Bung P, Cremer M, Flothkotter M, Hellmers C, et al. German national consensus recommendations on nutrition and lifestyle in pregnancy by the 'Healthy Start - Young Family Network'. Ann Nutr Metab. 2013;63(4):311-22. PubMed PMID: 24514069. Epub 2014/02/12. eng. 5. Dodd JM, Turnbull D, McPhee AJ, Deussen AR, Grivell RM, Yelland LN, et al. Antenatal lifestyle advice for women who are overweight or obese: LIMIT randomised trial. BMJ. 2014;348:g1285. PubMed PMID: 24513442. Pubmed Central PMCID: 3919179. Epub 2014/02/12. eng. 6. Schellong K, Schulz S, Harder T, Plagemann A. Birth weight and long-term overweight risk: systematic review and a meta-analysis including 643,902 persons from 66 studies and 26 countries globally. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47776. PubMed PMID: 23082214. Pubmed Central PMCID: 3474767.

Women having a baby by IVF are at increased risk of suffering reflux disease after the birth

(Vienna, 10 August, 2015) Women who give birth to babies conceived by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) are at increased risk of experiencing long-term symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), according to the results of a study published in the UEG Journal. Researchers in Turkey compared two groups of women who had given birth to their first child at least 1 year earlier and found that those who had had IVF were three-times more likely to be diagnosed with GORD than those who had conceived naturally. No differences in GORD prevalence were reported between the women who had IVF and gave birth to single babies and those who gave birth to twins.

GORD and pregnancy

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition in which acid from the stomach travels up into the oesophagus and causes heartburn, regurgitation and pain when swallowing. The most common cause of GORD is a weakening of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS) (the ring of muscle at the end of the oesophagus), allowing the stomach acid to leak up into the oesophagus and damage the lining. Pregnancy is a known risk factor for the development of GORD, affecting around half of all pregnant women. Pregnancy-related GORD is generally considered to be a temporary problem, although studies suggest that having reflux symptoms during pregnancy predisposes women to having further attacks.

IVF and GORD study

In the first study of its kind looking at the relative risk of GORD in women who conceive using IVF, 156 first-time mothers who had had twins (n=54) or single babies (n=102) at least 1 year earlier after IVF treatment were interviewed face-to-face to collect data on their pregnancies and any GORD symptoms experienced using a validated reflux questionnaire. A diagnosis of GORD was made if heartburn, regurgitation or both occurred at least once a week. Data from this group of women were then compared with an age-matched control group of women who had conceived naturally and had completed the same diagnostic questionnaire for GORD during another study. The prevalence of GORD at the time of data collection was found to be 13.5% in the group of women who had received IVF compared with just 4.5% in the group of women who had conceived naturally (p=0.015). In the IVF group, the prevalence of GORD was slightly higher in women who gave birth to twins (14.8%) compared with those who gave birth to single babies (12.7%), but the difference was not statistically significant. The reasons why women who have IVF might be more prone to developing GORD are not clear. The study authors propose a number of possibilities, including medications taken during IVF (e.g. high-dose progesterone and oestrogen) that relax the LOS, psychological causes associated with fertility issues (e.g. stress, depression and anxiety), and the possibility that women who undergo IVF may spend long periods of time lying down for fear of miscarriage.  “These are very interesting findings and UEG would welcome further research in this area to determine whether these results can be replicated in long-term, prospective studies,” said Dr. Oliver Pech, Head of Gastroenterology and Interventional Endoscopy at the St. John of God Hospital in Regensburg in Germany and Associate Editor of the UEG Journal. “If so, we really need to investigate how we might prevent the development of GORD in all pregnant women, but particularly in those who receive IVF treatment.” 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. 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 by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact: Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu References 1. Turan I, Kitapcioglu G, Goker ET, et al. In vitro fertilization-induced pregnancies predispose to gastroesophageal reflux disease. UEG Journal 2015. For the full UEG Journal article, please click here: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/07/08/2050640615597836.abstract

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



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



The Paediatric Pandemic

The current health burden and economic pressure of paediatric digestive health issues, such as rising levels of childhood obesity, have become a pandemic issue throughout the continent.