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, 5 (6), 1341-51

Long-term Risk of Gastrointestinal Cancers in Persons With Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers


Long-term Risk of Gastrointestinal Cancers in Persons With Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers

Kirstine K Søgaard et al. Cancer Med.


Peptic ulcer predicts gastric cancer. It is controversial if peptic ulcers predict other gastrointestinal cancers, potentially related to Helicobacter pylori or shared lifestyle factors. We hypothesized that gastric and duodenal ulcers may have different impact on the risk of gastrointestinal cancers. In a nationwide cohort study using Danish medical databases 1994-2013, we quantified the risk of gastric and other gastrointestinal cancers among patients with duodenal ulcers (dominantly H. pylori-related) and gastric ulcers (dominantly lifestyle-related) compared with the general population. We started follow-up 1-year after ulcer diagnosis to avoid detection bias and calculated absolute risks of cancer and standardized incidence ratios (SIRs). We identified 54,565 patients with gastric ulcers and 38,576 patients with duodenal ulcers. Patient characteristics were similar in the two cohorts. The 1-5-year risk of any gastrointestinal cancer was slightly higher for gastric ulcers patients (2.1%) than for duodenal ulcers patients (2.0%), and SIRs were 1.38 (95% CI: 1.31-1.44) and 1.30 (95% CI: 1.23-1.37), respectively. The SIR of gastric cancer was higher among patients with gastric ulcer than duodenal ulcer (1.92 vs. 1.38), while the SIRs for other gastrointestinal cancers were similar (1.33 vs. 1.29). Compared with gastric ulcer patients, duodenal ulcer patients were at lower risk of smoking- and alcohol-related gastrointestinal cancers. The risk of nongastric gastrointestinal cancers is increased both for patients with gastric ulcers and with duodenal ulcers, but absolute risks are low. H. pylori may be less important for the development of nongastric gastrointestinal cancer than hypothesized.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Helicobacter pylori; neoplasm; peptic ulcer; risk.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Number of gastrointestinal cancers; 1–5‐year absolute cancer risk (excluding cancer diagnosed during first year), treating death as a competing risk; and standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of cancer one or more years after the first hospital contact for peptic ulcer, stratified by ulcer site.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of cancer among duodenal ulcer patients compared to gastric ulcer patients.

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