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  1. Mohamed R, Desmond P, Suh DJ, Amarapurkar D, Gane E, Guangbi Y, et al.
    J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2004 Sep;19(9):958-69.
    PMID: 15304110
    The Asia-Pacific Expert Committee on Hepatitis B Management recently reviewed the impact of hepatitis B in the region and assessed the differences and similarities observed in the practical management of the disease in individual Asia-Pacific countries. Hepatitis B is a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific region, and of all chronically infected carriers worldwide, approximately 75% are found in Asia. The disease poses a considerable burden on healthcare systems, and is likely to remain a cause of substantial morbidity and mortality for several decades. Disease prevention activities, including screening and vaccination programs, have been implemented successfully in some Asia-Pacific countries and similar measures are being established in other parts of the region. The management of hepatitis B in the Asia-Pacific varies throughout the region, with each country confronting different issues related to treatment options, disease monitoring and duration of therapy. The influence of cost, availability of diagnostic equipment, and patient awareness and compliance are of additional concern. Although guidelines such as those developed by the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver have been created to address problems encountered in the management of hepatitis B, many physicians in the region still find it difficult to make satisfactory management decisions because of the treatment choices available. This article examines the different approaches to hepatitis B management in a number of Asia-Pacific countries, and highlights the difficulties that can arise when adhering to treatment guidelines and disease prevention solutions that have proved to be successful in the region.
  2. Wong MC, Ching JY, Chiu HM, Wu KC, Rerknimitr R, Li J, et al.
    Am. J. Gastroenterol., 2016 11;111(11):1621-1629.
    PMID: 26977757 DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2016.52
    OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), advanced colorectal neoplasia (ACN), and colorectal adenoma among screening participants with different first-degree relatives (FDRs) affected by CRC was similar.

    METHODS: A multi-center, prospective colonoscopy study involving 16 Asia-Pacific regions was performed from 2008 to 2015. Consecutive self-referred CRC screening participants aged 40-70 years were recruited, and each subject received one direct optical colonoscopy. The prevalence of CRC, ACN, and colorectal adenoma was compared among subjects with different FDRs affected using Pearson's χ2 tests. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the risk of these lesions, controlling for recognized risk factors including age, gender, smoking habits, alcohol drinking, body mass index, and the presence of diabetes mellitus.

    RESULTS: Among 11,797 asymptomatic subjects, the prevalence of CRC was 0.6% (none: 0.6%; siblings: 1.1%; mother: 0.5%; father: 1.2%; ≥2 members: 3.1%, P<0.001), that of ACN was 6.5% (none: 6.1%; siblings: 8.3%; mother: 7.7%; father: 8.7%; ≥2 members: 9.3%, P<0.001), and that of colorectal adenoma was 29.3% (none: 28.6%; siblings: 33.5%; mother: 31.8%; father: 31.1%; ≥2 members: 38.1%, P<0.001). In multivariate regression analyses, subjects with at least one FDR affected were significantly more likely to have CRC (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=2.02-7.89), ACN (AOR=1.55-2.06), and colorectal adenoma (AOR=1.31-1.92) than those without a family history. The risk of CRC (AOR=0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.34-2.35, P=0.830), ACN (AOR=1.07, 95% CI 0.75-1.52, P=0.714), and colorectal adenoma (AOR=0.96, 95% CI 0.78-1.19, P=0.718) in subjects with either parent affected was similar to that of subjects with their siblings affected.

    CONCLUSIONS: The risk of colorectal neoplasia was similar among subjects with different FDRs affected. These findings do not support the need to discriminate proband identity in screening participants with affected FDRs when their risks of colorectal neoplasia were estimated.

  3. Ng SC, Zeng Z, Niewiadomski O, Tang W, Bell S, Kamm MA, et al.
    Gastroenterology, 2016 Jan;150(1):86-95.e3; quiz e13-4.
    PMID: 26385074 DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.09.005
    BACKGROUND & AIMS: The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing in Asia, but little is known about disease progression in this region. The Asia-Pacific Crohn's and Colitis Epidemiology Study was initiated in 2011, enrolling subjects from 8 countries in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) and Australia. We present data from this ongoing study.
    METHODS: We collected data on 413 patients diagnosed with IBD (222 with ulcerative colitis [UC], 181 with Crohn's disease [CD], 10 with IBD unclassified; median age, 37 y) from 2011 through 2013. We analyzed the disease course and severity and mortality. Risks for medical and surgical therapies were assessed using Kaplan-Meier analysis.
    RESULTS: The cumulative probability that CD would change from inflammatory to stricturing or penetrating disease was 19.6%. The cumulative probabilities for use of immunosuppressants or anti-tumor necrosis factor agents were 58.9% and 12.0% for patients with CD, and 12.7% and 0.9% for patients with UC, respectively. Perianal CD was associated with an increased risk of anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy within 1 year of its diagnosis (hazard ratio, 2.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-8.09). The cumulative probabilities for surgery 1 year after diagnosis were 9.1% for patients with CD and 0.9% for patients with UC. Patients with CD and penetrating disease had a 7-fold increase for risk of surgery, compared with patients with inflammatory disease (hazard ratio, 7.67; 95% confidence interval, 3.93-14.96). The overall mortality for patients with IBD was 0.7%.
    CONCLUSIONS: In a prospective population-based study, we found that the early course of disease in patients with IBD in Asia was comparable with that of the West. Patients with CD frequently progress to complicated disease and have accelerated use of immunosuppressants. Few patients with early stage UC undergo surgery in Asia. Increasing our understanding of IBD progression in different populations can help optimize therapy and improve outcomes.
    KEYWORDS: ACCESS; Natural History; Risk Factor; Treatment
  4. Ng SC, Tang W, Leong RW, Chen M, Ko Y, Studd C, et al.
    Gut, 2015 Jul;64(7):1063-71.
    PMID: 25217388 DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2014-307410
    The rising incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in Asia supports the importance of environmental risk factors in disease aetiology. This prospective population-based case-control study in Asia-Pacific examined risk factors prior to patients developing IBD.
  5. Ng SC, Tang W, Ching JY, Wong M, Chow CM, Hui AJ, et al.
    Gastroenterology, 2013 Jul;145(1):158-165.e2.
    PMID: 23583432 DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.04.007
    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are becoming more common in Asia, but epidemiologic data are lacking. The Asia-Pacific Crohn's and Colitis Epidemiology Study aimed to determine the incidence and phenotype of IBD in 8 countries across Asia and in Australia.

    METHODS: We performed a prospective, population-based study of IBD incidence in predefined catchment areas, collecting data for 1 year, starting on April 1, 2011. New cases were ascertained from multiple overlapping sources and entered into a Web-based database. Cases were confirmed using standard criteria. Local endoscopy, pathology, and pharmacy records were searched to ensure completeness of case capture.

    RESULTS: We identified 419 new cases of IBD (232 of ulcerative colitis [UC], 166 of Crohn's disease [CD], and 21 IBD-undetermined). The crude annual overall incidence values per 100,000 individuals were 1.37 for IBD in Asia (95% confidence interval: 1.25-1.51; 0.76 for UC, 0.54 for CD, and 0.07 for IBD-undetermined) and 23.67 in Australia (95% confidence interval: 18.46-29.85; 7.33 for UC, 14.00 for CD, and 2.33 for IBD-undetermined). China had the highest incidence of IBD in Asia (3.44 per 100,000 individuals). The ratios of UC to CD were 2.0 in Asia and 0.5 in Australia. Median time from symptom onset to diagnosis was 5.5 months (interquartile range, 1.4-15 months). Complicated CD (stricturing, penetrating, or perianal disease) was more common in Asia than Australia (52% vs 24%; P = .001), and a family history of IBD was less common in Asia (3% vs 17%; P < .001).

    CONCLUSIONS: We performed a large-scale population-based study and found that although the incidence of IBD varies throughout Asia, it is still lower than in the West. IBD can be as severe or more severe in Asia than in the West. The emergence of IBD in Asia will result in the need for specific health care resources, and offers a unique opportunity to study etiologic factors in developing nations.

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