HEALTH

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America launches new Web site

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America recently launched its updated Web site to usher in the 2010 Walk season comprising more than 100 walks nationwide.

The Foundation reached a new plateau with new interactive features such as a blog, downloadable banners and widgets, and tips and tools for fundraising to support the walks that raise much-needed awareness of and funds for the 1.4 million Americans living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, both chronic digestive diseases.

“It’s very important that we create an environment that fosters awareness and support for our Walks, while making the job a little easier for those participating,” stated Cassidy Richards, National Event Director for the Foundation. “One way we’re doing that is with our new banners and widgets in different sizes that people can add to their social networking sites like Facebook.”

The banners and widgets can also be added to participants’ blogs, personal web sites, and on e-mails to friends to help get the word out about Take Steps. Available on the site’s new Spread the Word section, these tools are part of the Foundation’s efforts to help walkers show their support and get others to join Take Steps.

The new Web site also offers helpful suggestions on how to organize fundraisers at school or at work even during these trying economic times. It also encourages people to join a team, make a donation, or take part in volunteer activities through the site’s Get Involved feature.

The upcoming season kicks-off in spring 2010 and will continue into the summer in cities throughout the country.

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FDA approves Perrigo’s laxative generic

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Tuesday announced that it has received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its abbreviated new drug application for over-the-counter polyethylene glycol 3350, powder for solution, a generic equivalent to Schering-Plough’s MiraLAX laxative.

Perrigo said it would begin shipping immediately.

Estimated brand sales MiraLAX for the 12 months ended Aug. 28 were $200 million, Perrigo stated.

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Study finds sleep apnea patients may have GI tract conditions

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea also tend to have additional gastrointestinal tract conditions, a new study found.

In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers analyzed prospective clinical study data of 42 adult patients with proven OSA verified in overnight polysomnography. Every patient also underwent an upper GI endoscopy to evaluate their gastrointestinal health.

Pathological GI findings were found in vast majority of patients (83.3%), 59.5% of them showing two or more findings. The most frequent observed pathology was hiatus hernia (64.3% of patients), followed by erosive esophagitis (45.2%), histological esophagitis and erosive gastritis (both 21.4%), duodenal ulcer (7.1%), and biliary reflux (4.8%).

Approximately 12 million Americans have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes of reduced or no airflow throughout the night.

From their findings, the authors concluded that patients who appear to suffer from OSA should not only be investigated in sleep laboratory, but should also be referred to a gastroenterologist for additional diagnostic exams in order to provide a comprehensive treatment approach.

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