HEALTH

Study finds link between vitamin D deficiency, bacterial vaginosis

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. There may be a link between vitamin D deficiency and bacterial vaginosis, a vaginal infection that is common among pregnant women and can lead to complications.

According to data to be published in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, researchers tracking 469 pregnant women found that 41% of those women had BV, and that the prevalence of BV decreased as vitamin D concentration increased.

Researchers concluded that vitamin D insufficiency is associated with BV in the first four months of pregnancy. Further, poor vitamin D status may contribute to the strong racial disparity in the prevalence of BV in U.S. women. Controlled intervention trials will be needed to confirm this hypothesis, the researchers suggested.

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ACG develops ‘IBS Treatment Matrix’

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. The American College of Gastroenterology announced Wednesday that it will unveil “The IBS Test” and “The IBS Treatment Matrix” — two new online, interactive patient tools based on recently published ACG meta-analysis, offering evidence-based graded recommendations on the full range of options for testing and treatment of IBS — on May 29 in recognition of World Digestive Health Day.

IBS is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder which for many sufferers is marked by abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea. It is estimated that between 10% and 15% of the U.S. adult population suffers from IBS symptoms, yet only 5% to 7% of adults have been diagnosed with the disease. According to studies, IBS patients make more visits to their physicians, undergo more diagnostic tests, are prescribed more medications, miss more workdays, have lower work productivity, are hospitalized more frequently, and account for greater overall direct healthcare costs than patients without IBS.

The IBS Treatment Matrix for patients was built based on a new ACG systematic review of the evidence on IBS treatments. Published in the January 2009 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology, the review offers graded recommendations on the full spectrum of options for testing and treatment of IBS, addressing everything from new IBS drugs to alternative therapies including psychotherapy and acupuncture.

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Pollen.com identified as reliable source for health information

BY Michael Johnsen

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. SDI on Wednesday announced that its Pollen.com allergy site received the Health On the Net Foundation’s Code of Conduct certification, identifying it as an internationally reliable source of health information.

Pollen.com’s audience has grown by more than 466% since the site’s launch in 2002. In April 2009, the site and network had more than 26.5 million page views.

“With our growing audience, the Health On the Net certification gives our visitors and advertisers further confidence that the information we are providing is a gold standard – it’s trustworthy, timely and credible,” stated Glenn Connery, associate director of the application development/Web group for SDI.

Certification by HON means that Pollen.com provides sound, authoritative information; data confidentiality and privacy; proper attribution of sources; and transparency, such as a clear delineation of advertising and editorial content.

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