Clinical discussions on diet-associated NAFLD and COVID-19 mortality risk among PPI users

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The August issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology includes clinical discussions of diet-associated NAFLD risk and increased risk of mortality from COVID-19 among PPI users. In addition, this issue features clinical research and reviews on IBS, gender barriers for CRC screening, hepatitis C, eosinophilic esophagitis, and more.

The three articles highlighted below include a study on red meat and NAFLD, PPIs and COVID-19 mortality risk, and screening for Barrett's esophagus. Access to any articles from this issue, or past issues, is available upon request. The College is also able to connect members of the press with study authors or outside experts who can comment on the articles.

Study authors found that, even in populations with low consumption rates of red meat, red meat and organ meat consumption is associated with increased risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In addition to calorie restriction and weight loss, dietary composition continues to be a key consideration in preventing NAFLD and may inform future dietary recommendations across global locations with differing dietary patterns

This study found significantly higher ACE2 mRNA expression levels in the upper GI tract of PPI users, which may predispose them to SARS-CoV-2 infection. PPI usage at admission was associated with increased in-hospital mortality for patients with COVID-19, particularly among African Americans. Most patients were taking PPI for discretionary indications such as NSAID prophylaxis and GERD symptoms.

Minimally invasive tests have increased the opportunity for evaluation of Barrett's esophagus testing. This comparative study found that screening individuals aged 50 years old in a GERD-independent manner with minimally invasive non-endoscopic tests is cost-effective, compared with no screening. Screening for BE with newer non-endoscopic tests, even in a GERD-independent strategy, appears to be cost-effective.

Journal reference:

Maryam, H., et al. (2021) Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in a Population With Low Meat Consumption: The Golestan Cohort Study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology.


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