Admission rates for peptic ulcer in the trent region, UK, 1972--2000. changing pattern, a changing disease?

Dig Liver Dis. 2004 Sep;36(9):577-88. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2004.04.007.


Background and aim: Peptic ulcer disease is believed to be less common and less severe as a result of modern medical treatment. We therefore examined changes in the admission rates for patients with duodenal ulcer and gastric ulcer, both emergency (for haemorrhage, perforation or severe pain) and for elective surgery, before and since the introduction of the new advances in therapy. These admission indices reflect disease prevalence and severity.

Patients and methods: We identified admission rates during 1972--2000 within the Trent Regional Health Authority, UK (population 4.7 million), from computerised patient information using diagnostic search codes ICD8-10 and expressed as rates per million resident population. Drug expenditure details were obtained from the Department of Health.

Results: Emergency admission rates as a whole changed little, a decline in the young being offset by an increase in the elderly. Haemorrhage was the most common reason (approximately 115 per million for duodenal ulcer and 87 for gastric ulcer) throughout [compared with perforation (80 and 21) and pain (90 and 68)]. In contrast, elective surgery has almost disappeared; this reduction began before the introduction of modern treatment.

Conclusion: Emergency admission rates for duodenal and gastric ulcer for complications or severe pain have fluctuated over the last three decades but with little overall change. In contrast, elective surgery has declined dramatically, as a result of advances in treatment but also from changes in the natural history.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Admission / trends
  • Peptic Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Peptic Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Peptic Ulcer / surgery
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents