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BMJ. 2006 Oct 7;333(7571):726. Epub 2006 Sep 19.

Use of single and combined antithrombotic therapy and risk of serious upper gastrointestinal bleeding: population based case-control study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, IST, Syddansk Universitet, 5000 Odense, Denmark. jhallas@health.sdu.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the risk of serious upper gastrointestinal bleeding associated with the newer antithrombotic agents used alone or in combination with other antithrombotic drugs; to describe the trends in use of antithrombotic drugs in the background population.

DESIGN:

Population based case-control study.

SETTING:

Funen County, Denmark (population 470,000).

SUBJECTS:

1443 cases of serious upper gastrointestinal bleeding identified during 2000-4; 57,720 age and sex matched controls.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Exposure to low dose aspirin, clopidogrel, dipyridamole, vitamin K antagonists, and combined antithrombotic treatment.

RESULTS:

Adjusted odds ratios associating drug use with upper gastrointestinal bleeding were 1.8 (95% confidence interval 1.5 to 2.1) for low dose aspirin, 1.1 (0.6 to 2.1) for clopidogrel, 1.9 (1.3 to 2.8) for dipyridamole, and 1.8 (1.3 to 2.4) for vitamin K antagonists. Corresponding figures for combined use were 7.4 (3.5 to 15) for clopidogrel and aspirin, 5.3 (2.9 to 9.5) for vitamin K antagonists and aspirin, and 2.3 (1.7 to 3.3) for dipyridamole and aspirin. Other combinations were used too infrequently to allow estimation. The number of treatment years needed to produce one excess case varied from 124 for the clopidogrel-aspirin combination to 8800 for clopidogrel alone. During the study period, exposure to combined antithrombotic regimens increased by 425% in the background population.

CONCLUSION:

Antithrombotic treatment is becoming increasingly aggressive. Combined antithrombotic treatment confers particular risk and is associated with high incidence of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Comment in

PMID:
16984924
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1592384
Free PMC Article

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