HEALTH

ASGE: Electronic diagnosis provided inaccurate results for Barrett’s esophagus patients

BY Michael Johnsen

OAK BROOK, Ill. In a review of more than 2,000 patients coded for Barrett’s esophagus, electronic diagnosis overestimated the prevalence of the disease, according to researchers in California, the American Society for Gastroinestinal Endoscopy announced last week.

According to the review, researchers found that only 61.9% of patients assigned a billing diagnosis code for Barrett’s esophagus actually had Barrett’s esophagus after a manual record review.

The misdiagnosis could potentially undermine or skew future research into patients diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, a condition where the lining of the esophagus changes due to chronic inflammation, generally from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Definitive diagnosis requires a biopsy, taken at upper endoscopy, demonstrating replacement of the normal cell lining with one more like the cell lining of the small intestine. This is also known as intestinal metaplasia. Barrett’s esophagus itself has no specific symptoms, but this change can increase the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (a type of esophageal cancer).

Researchers concluded that electronic coding alone overestimates the prevalence of Barrett’s esophagus, and most clinical and research uses will require a manual verification of disease status.

The study appears in the May issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the ASGE.

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Joslin Diabetes Center appoints NBA star to board of trustees

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON A diabetes organization has sought to attract attention to Type 1 diabetes by appointing a member of the Boston Celtics and father of a child with the disease to its board of trustees.

The Joslin Diabetes Center announced Monday that it had appointed Ray Allen, whose 2-year-old son, Walker, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. The center said Allen and his wife, Shannon, had “enthusiastically embraced” its mission and vision since then.

“When Walker was diagnosed with diabetes, our lives were thrown into a tailspin, and Shannon and I needed all the information and support we could get as we learned how to manage our son’s disease,” Allen said. “We found that and more at the Joslin Diabetes Center.”

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‘Dancing’ judge teams up with Dr. Scholl’s For Her

BY Allison Cerra

KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough announced the launch of a new Dr. Scholl’s For Her product that will make consumers kick up their heels.

Dr Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles, featuring an ultra-soft arch cushion that shifts pressure off the ball of foot. The insoles fit into shoes without crowding toes or making the shoes feel tight, Schering-Plough stated, and the clear gel design remains virtually invisible even in strappy sandals.

“High-heel shoes dramatically limit the mobility of the feet and reduce the shock-absorbing ability of the heel and arch. In designing this insole, we studied how a woman’s weight is shifted away from the heel and arch toward her forefoot when wearing high heels, which commonly results in ball-of-foot pain,” said Charlie Lundy, research and development director for Dr. Scholl’s For Her. “We developed the new High Heel Insoles to help shift pressure from the ball-of-foot back toward the arch and heel to make even high heel shoes comfortable.”

To help launch the product, Schering-Plough is partnering with “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba to act as a brand ambassador and to show women that they can comfortably wear their high heels all day or all night. As part of that endorsement, Inaba is hosting the Dr. Scholl’s For Her Dance Studio online, where she will provide tips for dancers of all skill levels to maximize their dance and workout routines.

The full line of Dr. Scholl’s For Her products is available at food, drug and mass stores nationwide. For more information, visit www.drscholls.com.

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