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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2001 Jan-Feb;10(1):13-9.

Ulcer complications associated with anti-inflammatory drug use. What is the extent of the disease burden?

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Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TH, UK.


Information on the intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and on aspirin taken regularly by patients with peptic ulcer bleeding aged 60 years and over was used in conjunction with data measuring the overall frequency of hospital admissions with ulcer bleeding in England and Wales to determine the annual burden of disease imposed by particular treatment strategies. Over 40% of the calculated 8528 episodes of ulcer bleeding in those aged 60 years and over, and over 40% of the estimated 981 deaths each year would seem to be causally related to the treatments. Substitution of the NSAID with the lowest associated risk would be expected to reduce the frequency of non-aspirin NSAID-associated episodes of ulcer bleeding, and deaths, each by over 70%. Use of the lowest conventional dose of regular prophylactic aspirin (75 mg) would also be expected to reduce the frequency of treatment-related episodes, and deaths, by nearly 30%. Both strategies employed together would be expected to reduce NSAID and regular aspirin-related bleeding ulcer admissions from 4121 to less than 2184, and deaths from 523 to less than 250. Substitution of completely safe anti-inflammatory analgesics and anti-platelet drugs would be expected to reduce admissions from 4121 to 1072, and deaths from 523 to 123.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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