Mortality from acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding in the United kingdom: does it display a "weekend effect"?

Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Sep;106(9):1621-8. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.172. Epub 2011 May 24.


Objectives: An increased mortality in patients presenting to hospital at weekends has been observed for several medical conditions. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between weekend presentation to hospital following acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding and mortality.

Methods: Data were collected on 6,749 patients presenting to 212 UK hospitals. A logistic regression model was used to examine the relationship between weekend presentation to hospital and mortality.

Results: Patients presenting at the weekend were more likely to present with shock (39% vs. 36%), hematemesis (41% vs. 38%), and receive red cell transfusion (42% vs. 39%). Only 38% of those presenting at weekends underwent endoscopy within 24 h compared with 55% admitted on weekdays (adjusted odds ratio (OR)=0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.41-0.54), although the proportion of all patients receiving endoscopic therapy was identical at weekends compared with weekdays (24%). After adjustment for confounders, there was no evidence of a difference between weekend and weekday mortality (OR=0.93; 95% CI=0.75-1.16). Similar results were seen when restricting the analysis to those patients who underwent endoscopy (n=5,004) (OR=0.87, 95% CI=0.65-1.16). There was no difference in the OR for mortality for weekend compared with weekday presentation between patients presenting to hospitals with an out-of-hours (OOH) endoscopy rota compared with those presenting to hospitals without such a facility.

Conclusions: In this large prospective study of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding in the United Kingdom, there was no increase in mortality for weekend vs. weekday presentation despite patients being more critically ill and having greater delays to endoscopy at weekends. Provision of an OOH endoscopy service at weekends in the remaining UK hospitals may not lead to further reductions in case fatality, although a reduction in OOH endoscopy provision from current levels could lead to an increase in mortality at weekends.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • After-Hours Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / mortality*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / mortality*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / radiotherapy
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology