Background: While overall hospital admission rates for peptic ulcer declined in England in the 1990 s, they increased among the elderly, especially for complicated ulcer. However, peptic ulcer admissions fell for all age groups in the United States.
Aim: To examine time trends in the incidence of hospital admissions, mortality and operations because of peptic ulcer in Scotland from 1982 to 2002, and the use of various drugs relevant to the aetiology and treatment of peptic ulcer from 1992 to 2002.
Results: There was a general decrease in admission rates, especially for younger individuals. For individuals aged above 74 years, admission rates actually increased for gastric ulcer with haemorrhage among men, and for duodenal ulcer haemorrhage between both sexes. The number of operations fell dramatically, especially for younger patients. Mortality rates generally declined. Case fatality rates were greater for women than men, and declined over the study period for gastric ulcer, but increased for duodenal ulcer. The use of low-dose aspirin, oral anticoagulants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and proton-pump inhibitors increased while those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and histamine-2 antagonists declined.
Conclusions: Admission rates for peptic ulcer generally fell for younger individuals, but increased for older people with haemorrhage.