Clinical trial: the incidence and early mortality after peptic ulcer perforation, and the use of low-dose aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Oct 1;28(7):878-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03808.x. Epub 2008 Jul 17.


Background: It is not clear whether the incidence or early mortality related to peptic ulcer perforation has changed.

Aim: To evaluate the incidence and mortality related to peptic ulcer perforation while considering the intake of low-dose aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Methods: We recorded the numbers and details of all patients presenting in our region of Scotland with perforation between 1997 and 2006 including demography, drug usage and 30-day mortality.

Results: In subjects aged >65 years, the annual incidence of perforation was 32.7 per 10(5) of the age-specific population, of whom 10.7 per 10(5) were taking low-dose aspirin and 12.0 taking NSAIDs. These were all significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the corresponding incidence in subjects aged < or =65 years (6.6 per 10(5) overall, 1.1 taking aspirin and 2.5 taking NSAIDs). There was an increasing trend with time in the number of patients taking NSAIDs (chi(2) = 4.57, P = 0.03). Using univariate analysis, 30-day mortality was associated with aspirin [odds ratio, 2.32 (95% C.I., 1.20-4.47), P = 0.01] but not with NSAIDs. The strongest predictors of mortality were increasing age and comorbidity.

Conclusions: Perforation remains common in elderly patients including users of NSAIDs and aspirin. Early mortality is also noted in association with increasing age and comorbidity, but not independently with drug intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Comorbidity
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peptic Ulcer / mortality
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / complications
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / epidemiology*
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Time


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Aspirin