HEALTH

ASCP launches chronic constipation education initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists on Thursday launched a comprehensive continuing medical education initiative for physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health-care providers about chronic constipation.

Known as E-IMPACCT, Elderly IMProvements and Advances in Chronic Constipation Treatment, the program presents educational activities on evaluating and managing CC, and offers a range of tools to help clinicians in everyday practice.

 “Because of the cascade of complex health issues that can be triggered by chronic constipation, clinicians have expressed their need for targeted education about CC,” stated ASCP executive director and chief executive officer John Feather. “Clinicians need to identify, recognize and differentiate CC and have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each of the treatments and medications, the side effects and administration and efficacy data.”

“For all clinicians, the management strategies for treating chronic constipation in the elderly should include a combination of patient and caregiver education and communication, dietary modifications, and treatment options,” commented ASCP director of professional and educational affairs Trish D’Antonio Mazzuca. “Educational outcomes from E-IMPACCT will measure changes in clinician knowledge and behavior and improvements in patient care.”

E-IMPACCT provides outcomes-based knowledge through an ongoing, thorough awareness campaign with educational components that will roll out over a 12-month period. Through this initiative, participants are presented with new information and certified continuing education activities, patient cases and guidelines designed to help clinicians better manage CC and improve outcomes in today’s seniors.

Chronic constipation is the most common digestive complaint in the general population. In seniors, roughly 26 percent of men and 34 percent of women complain of constipation. Americans spend approximately $800 million per year on over-the-counter laxatives, the society reported.

The ASCP E-IMPACCT initiative is supported by an educational grant from Sucampo Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America.

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Food allergies, digestive problems increasing in young people, report says

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The number of young people who had a food or digestive allergy increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, according to a new report issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2007, approximately 3 million U.S. children and teenagers under age 18—or nearly 4 percent of that age group—were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months, compared to just over 2.3 million (3.3 percent) in 1997.

The report found that eight types of food account for 90 percent of all food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips, to hives and even death, depending on the severity of the reaction.

Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared to children without food allergies, the report said.

The mechanisms by which a person develops an allergy to specific foods are largely unknown. Food allergy is more prevalent in children than adults. Most affected children will outgrow food allergies, although food allergy can be a lifelong concern.

The findings are published in a new data brief, “Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations.” The data are from the National Health Interview Survey and the National Hospital Discharge Survey, both conducted by CDC?s National Center for Health Statistics.

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Pepto Bismol teams with Travel Channel host to give tips on ‘taste adventures’

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel’s series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, has partnered with Pepto-Bismol to provide tips on how to have a “taste adventure” on the road or at home, Procter & Gamble announced Wednesday. According to Zimmern, consumers can have piece of mind when trying new tastes by planning ahead and safeguarding their stomach. “For any taste escapade, the important keys are to plan ahead and leave … reservations at the door,” he said. “Explore the unique tastes [of the] city and … and pack your Cherry Pepto, so you will feel secure enough to experience new things.”

Zimmern’s local guides include his favorite spots that often get looked over, as well as “must- tastes” from the names that consistently produce the most exciting food. The guides are tailored for local and regional tastes.

Local Taste Adventure Guides are available for Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

To help celebrate Zimmern’s Taste Adventure Guides, Pepto-Bismol is inviting consumers to enter the Cherry Pepto Taste Adventure Sweepstakes. Entrants have the opportunity to submit a story about his or her own “taste adventure” for a chance to win a four day/three night trip for two to one of the destinations featured in the Local Taste Adventure Guides.

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