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New research identifies risks, interventions for children's GI health
Date:5/18/2013

Orlando, FL (May 18, 2013) An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).

In one study targeting obesity, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital found that obese children have a unique pattern of exhaled breath compared to their lean counterparts. The pattern showed differences in volatile organic compound levels that can be correlated to potential complications associated with obesity, such as diabetes and fatty liver disease.

"Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels in the U.S., with 17 percent of children being obese and at risk for serious health complications," said Naim Alkhouri, MD, director of the Pediatric Preventive Cardiology and Metabolic Clinic at Cleveland Clinic's Children's Hospital. "A quick, non-invasive breath test that identifies specific risks could help clinicians identify effective interventions while also motivating families to take preventative action."

Funded by the Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institute and the Ohio Third Frontier program, the study compared the volatile organic compounds in the breath of obese and lean children and found differences in the concentration of more than 50 compounds. The test identified the obese children with a 92 percent rate of accuracy. Dr. Alkhouri said that while more research is needed to validate the findings, the breath test could be an invaluable research tool.

"The findings promise to shed more light on the causes and complications of childhood obesity," he said. "Ultimately, this could have huge implications for early interventions for obesity-related complications that could be effectively targeted to combat risk as these children get older."

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DDW is also featuring research in a very different area
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Contact: Aimee Frank
newsroom@gastro.org
301-941-2620
Digestive Disease Week
Source:Eurekalert

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