Do concomitant diseases and therapies affect the persistence of ulcer symptoms in the elderly?

Francesco Di Mario, Gioacchino Leandro, Giuseppe Battaglia, Alberto Pilotto, Pierluigi Del Santo, Fabio Vianello, Marilisa Franceschi, Marina Ferrana, Tiziana Dal Bianco, Sergio Vigneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Risk factors of slow healing were previously researched in a large sample of duodenal (DU) and gastric ulcer (GU) patients over 65 years of age; persistence of ulcer symptoms was proven the most reliable factor in predicting nonhealing ulcer, while ulcer size was of importance only for DU. We aimed to complete the analysis, with a more careful evaluation of concomitant diseases and therapies. Ranitidine 300 mg daily was given for four to eight weeks to 310 GU and 699 DU patients. Ninety-three patients dropped out of the study; 79/294 gastric ulcers and 138/635 duodenal ulcers were unhealed after four weeks. Cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and pulmonary disorders were the most frequent concomitant diseases; NSAIDs, cardiovascular drugs, and antihypertensives were the most frequent concomitant therapies. Esophagitis was diagnosed in 15.5% of patients. Ulcer healing was the major determinant of persistence of ulcer symptoms; esophagitis emerged as an important adjunctive and independent factor. Use of hypoglycemic agents in the whole sample and smoking habit (in GU) may have also a role. With persistence of ulcer symptoms removed from the analysis, ulcer size was the most constant factor affecting ulcer healing. NSAID use, cardiovascular disorders, esophagitis (in GU), and concomitant therapy with cardiovascular drugs (in DU) also play a role. In conclusion, persistence of ulcer symptoms, the major indicator of slow ulcer healing in the elderly, is independently affected also by the presence of esophagitis. Use of hypoglycemic agents and smoking habit may also have a role in persistence of ulcer symptoms. NSAIDs, cardiovascular disorders, cardiovascular drugs, and esophagitis affect ulcer healing, for which the most constant indicators remained persistence of ulcer symptoms and ulcer size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Esophagitis
  • Hypoglycemic agents
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Peptic ulcer therapy
  • Smoking habit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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