Objective: The aim of this study was to examine recent time trends in incidence and outcome of upper GI bleeding.
Methods: Prospective data collection on all patients presenting with acute upper GI bleeding from a defined geographical area in the period 1993/1994 and 2000.
Results: Incidence decreased from 61.7/100,000 in 1993/94 to 47.7/100,000 persons annually in 2000, corresponding to a 23% decrease in incidence after age adjustment (95% CI = 15-30%). The incidence was higher among patients of more advanced age. Rebleeding (16% vs 15%) and mortality (14% vs 13%) did not differ between the two time periods. Ulcer bleeding was the most frequent cause of bleeding, at 40% (1993/94) and 46% (2000). Incidence remained stable for both duodenal and gastric ulcer bleeding. Almost one half of all patients with peptic ulcer bleeding were using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin. Also, among patients with ulcer bleeding, rebleeding (22% vs 20%) and mortality (15% vs 14%) did not differ between the two time periods. Increasing age, presence of severe and life-threatening comorbidity, and rebleeding were associated with higher mortality.
Conclusions: Between 1993/1994 and 2000, among patients with acute upper GI bleeding, the incidence rate of upper GI bleeding significantly decreased, but no improvement was seen in the risk of rebleeding or mortality in these patients. The incidence rate of ulcer bleeding remained stable. Prevention of ulcer bleeding is important.