Background: Although administration of gastroprotective drugs may reduce the risk of peptic ulcers associated with the chronic use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin, no consensus exists as to whether this co-therapy is effective for short-term prevention, particularly in old age. Aim: To evaluate the risk of peptic ulcer associated with acute and chronic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin therapy in elderly subjects, and the influence of antisecretory treatment on this risk. Methods: The study included 676 elderly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin users and 2435 non-users who consecutively underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or aspirin as well as antisecretory drugs (H2-blockers and proton-pump inhibitors) was evaluated by a structured interview. Diagnosis of gastric and duodenal ulcer as well as Helicobacter pylori infection were carried out by endoscopy and histological examination of the gastric mucosa. Results: About 47.3% of patients were acute and 52.7% chronic users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin. The risk of peptic ulcer, adjusted for age, gender, H. pylori infection and antisecretory drug use was higher in acute (gastric ulcer: odds ratio, OR = 4.47, 95% CI: 3.19-6.26 and duodenal ulcer: OR = 2.39, 95% CI: 1.73-3.31) than chronic users (gastric ulcer: OR = 2.80, 95% CI: 1.97-3.99 and duodenal ulcer: OR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.22-2.33). Proton-pump inhibitor treatment was associated with a reduced risk of peptic ulcer in both acute (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.24-2.04) and chronic (OR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.15-0.67) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/aspirin users. Conversely, concomitant treatment with H 2-blockers was associated with a significantly higher risk of peptic ulcer both in acute (OR = 10.9, 95% CI: 3.87-30.9) and chronic (OR = 6.26, 95% CI: 2.56-15.3) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/aspirin users than non-users. Proton-pump inhibitor treatment resulted in an absolute risk reduction of peptic ulcer by 36.6% in acute and 34.6% in chronic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/aspirin users; indeed, the number needed to treat to avoid one peptic ulcer in elderly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/aspirin users was three both in acute and chronic users. Conclusions: These findings suggest that proton-pump inhibitor co-treatment is advisable in symptomatic elderly patients who need to be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or aspirin for a short period of time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)