Changing Epidemiology of Upper Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage in the Last Decade: A Nationwide Analysis

Dig Dis Sci. 2018 May;63(5):1286-1293. doi: 10.1007/s10620-017-4882-6. Epub 2017 Dec 27.


Background: Upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage (UGIH) is common and carries substantial mortality requiring frequent hospitalizations.

Aim: To investigate trends in etiology and outcome of UGIH in hospitalized patients in the USA.

Methods: Retrospective, observational cohort study of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 2002 to 2012 was carried out. UGIH was identified in hospitalizations with a principle ICD-9-CM diagnosis of UGIH or secondary diagnosis of UGIH with a principal diagnosis of hematemesis, blood in stool, or gastrointestinal bleeding. Age 18 years or older was required for inclusion, and elective admissions and transferred patients were excluded.

Results: The hospitalization rate of UGIH in the USA decreased by 21% from 2002 to 2012, from 81 to 67 cases per 100,000 population (p < 0.01). The greatest declines occurred for gastritis and PUD, which decreased by 55 and 30%, respectively (p < 0.01). There were increases in neoplasm, Dieulafoy lesions, angiodysplasia, and esophagitis, which increased by 50, 33, 32 and 20%, respectively (p < 0.01). The all-cause inpatient mortality rate of UGIH decreased 28% from 2.6 per 100 cases in 2002 to 1.9 in 2012 (p < 0.01). The greatest decline occurred for esophagitis, Mallory-Weiss tear, and neoplasm, which decreased by 39% (p < 0.01), 36% (p = 0.02), and 36% (p < 0.01), respectively. The rate of hospitalization for bleeding caused by esophageal varices remained constant and low (approximately 2%) throughout the study period; the mortality for esophageal varices also remained constant at 6-7%.

Conclusions: The epidemiology of UGIH hemorrhage appears to be shifting, with a decline in PUD and gastritis; an increase in hospitalization rate for neoplasm, Dieulafoy lesions, angiodysplasia, and esophagitis; and a reduction in overall mortality. The decreasing hospitalization rate and mortality rate of UGIH suggest population trends in use of treatments for PUD, improved hemostatic techniques, and overall care.

Keywords: Bleeding; Etiology; Mortality; Outcome.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Esophageal Diseases / complications
  • Esophageal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Hospitalization / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Diseases / complications
  • Stomach Diseases / diagnosis
  • Stomach Diseases / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult