Objectives: Despite progress in diagnosis and treatment, peptic ulcer disease (PUD) remains a common reason for hospitalization and operation. The purpose of this study was to quantify the time trends of hospitalizations and operations for PUD in the United States (US) since 1993.
Data and methods: The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample is a 20% stratified sample of all hospitalizations in the United States. It was used to study hospitalizations with PUD as the principal diagnosis during 1993 to 2006, including details on ulcer site, complications, procedures, and mortality. Statistical methods included the chi test and multivariate logistic regression.
Results: The national estimate of hospitalizations for PUD decreased significantly from 222,601 in 1993 to 156,108 in 2006 (-29.9%), with a larger reduction in duodenal ulcers (95,552 in 1993 vs. 60,029 in 2006, -37.2%) than gastric ulcers (106,987 in 1993 vs. 86,064 in 2006, -19.6%). The inpatient mortality rate of PUD decreased from 3.8% to 2.7% during 1993 to 2006 (P < 0.001). Hemorrhage remained the most common complication (71.6% in 1993; 73.3% in 2006) but perforation had the highest mortality (15.1% in 1993; 10.6% in 2006). In comparison to 1993, patients hospitalized for PUD in 2006 more frequently had endoscopic treatment to control bleeding (12.9% vs. 22.2%, P < 0.001), similar use of surgical oversewing of ulcer (7.6% vs. 7.4%), less use of gastrectomy (4.4% vs. 2.1%, P < 0.001), and less use of vagotomy (5.7% vs. 1.7%, P < 0.001). In multivariate logistic regressions, the determinants of mortality were similar in 1993 and 2006.
Conclusions: Hospitalizations for PUD decreased in the United States from 1993 to 2006, suggesting a decrease in the prevalence and/or severity of ulcer complications over this recent time period. Despite increased patient age and comorbidities, there has been a significant decrease in PUD mortality, a significant increase in the use of therapeutic endoscopy for bleeding ulcer, and a significant decrease in the use of definitive surgery (vagotomy or resection) for ulcer complications.