Changing pattern of admissions and operations for duodenal ulcer

Br J Surg. 1989 Mar;76(3):230-6. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800760307.


The admission rates for duodenal ulcer (DU) and the effect of H2-receptor antagonists (H2RA), introduced in the Trent Region of the UK in 1977, were examined. The admission rates are expressed per 10(6) of resident population. The use of H2RA has risen 3.7-fold (from 1978 to 1983), yet overall admission rates for perforation have changed little: 99 in 1972-76 (pre-H2RA period) compared with 103 in 1977-84 (H2RA period). Admission rates for haemorrhage have risen by 8 per cent, from 130 to 140 (P less than 0.01). However, the overall rates conceal large increases (P less than 0.01) in the admission rates for those aged greater than or equal to 65 years, of 33 per cent (from 264 to 352) for perforation and of 28 per cent (from 381 to 489) for haemorrhage. Emergency admissions for uncomplicated DU were unchanged: 88 in 1972-76 and 89 in 1977-84. However, the proportions operated on fell by 58 per cent (P less than 0.01), from 30 per cent of admissions in the pre-H2RA period compared with only 12 per cent in the H2RA period. Waiting-list admissions for uncomplicated DU fell by 43 per cent, from 187 to 106 (P less than 0.01), and the proportions operated on fell from 162 to 76; the combined effect resulted in a reduction of 53 per cent in the operation rates (P less than 0.01). In Rotherham, the use of H2RA has risen 6.2-fold (from 1978 to 1983) and they were generally used intermittently in 1976-78 and later for maintenance therapy and high-dose treatment. Yet admissions for perforation and for haemorrhage were unchanged. Emergency admissions for uncomplicated DU rose by 40 per cent, from 130 in 1972-75 to 182 in 1976-84, but the proportions operated on fell markedly, from 20 to 6 per cent (P less than 0.01); waiting-list admissions fell in 1976-78 by 29 per cent and in 1979-84 by 73 per cent. The proportions operated on in the three periods fell from 74 to 53 per cent and 25 per cent respectively and these two factors led to decreases in elective surgery of 50 per cent in 1976-78 and 91 per cent in 1979-84 (P less than 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Duodenal Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Duodenal Ulcer / surgery*
  • Emergencies
  • England
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / surgery*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / trends*
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / drug therapy
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Histamine H2 Antagonists