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Curr Med Res Opin. 2017 Oct;33(10):1815-1820. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2017.1338178. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug related upper gastrointestinal bleeding: types of drug use and patient profiles in real clinical practice.

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a Service of Digestive Diseases, University Clinic Hospital Lozano Blesa , Zaragoza , Spain.
b Aragón Health Research Institute (IIS Aragón) , Spain.
c CIBERehd , Madrid , Spain.
d University of Zaragoza , Zaragoza , Spain.



The best available evidence regarding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding comes from randomized controlled trials including patients who use NSAIDs to manage chronic rheumatic diseases; however, patients with varying background profiles commonly take NSAIDs for many other reasons, often without prescription, and such usage has not been well studied.


To define the characteristics of patients hospitalized for upper GI bleeding in clinical practice, we conducted a case-control study among patients with endoscopy-proven major upper GI bleeding due to gastroduodenal peptic lesions and control subjects. We used adjusted logistic regression models to estimate bleeding risks. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 22.0.


Our analysis included 3785 cases and 6540 controls, including 1270 cases (33.55%) and 834 controls (12.75%) reporting recent use (<30 days) of NSAIDs including high-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). NSAID use was associated with increased risk of upper GI bleeding, with an adjusted relative risk of 4.86 (95% CI, 4.32-5.46). Acute musculoskeletal pain (36.1%), chronic osteoarthritis (13.5%), and headache (13.6%) were the most common reasons for NSAID use. Among cases, only 17.31% took NSAIDs and 6.38% took high dose ASA due to chronic osteoarthritis. Demographic characteristics significantly differed between subjects with chronic vs. acute musculoskeletal pain. Proton pump inhibitor use was significantly higher in patients who used NSAIDs due to chronic osteoarthritis compared to patients with acute musculoskeletal pain. NSAID (65.15%) or high-dose ASA use (65.83%) preceding upper GI bleeding was most often short-term. In over half of cases (63.62%), the upper GI bleeding event was not preceded by dyspeptic warning symptoms.


The majority of patients hospitalized due to NSAID-related upper GI bleeding reported short-term NSAID use for reasons other than chronic rheumatic disease. These findings suggest that current prevention strategies may not reach a wide population of short-term NSAID users.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID); preventive strategies; proton pump inhibitor (PPI); upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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