Objective: To identify risk factors for gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) among users of non-aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NANSAIDs).
Design: Case-control study.
Participants: A total of 120 patients aged over 60 years and using NANSAIDs were hospitalized between January 1988 and September 1992 for GIB related to erosions or ulceration of the gastroduodenal mucosa. A group of 100 general practitioners selected two controls matched for age and sex, receiving NANSAIDs and without GIB, for each patient.
Methods: The same questionnaire was used to interview patients and controls about their medical history, use of NANSAIDs and other drugs, alcohol and tobacco use, recent stress and nutritional status.
Results: The adjusted odds ratios (OR) for the risk factors related to the pattern of NANSAID use were 3.39 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.77-6.47] when the intake of NANSAIDs was followed by decubitus, 3.00 (95% CI 1.54-5.85) when NANSAIDs were taken before a meal, 6.05 (95% CI 2.10 17.43) with a high dose of NANSAIDs, 5.87 (95% CI 2.00-17.25) with recent NANSAID use, 3.35 (95% CI 1.47-7.64) with NANSAIDs associated with aspirin use, 3.46 (95% CI 1.15-10.36) with more than one NANSAID, and 10.70 (95% CI 1.06-108.07) when NANSAIDs were associated with corticosteroids. The patient-related risk factors and their OR were 9.94 (95% CI 3.29-24.28) for irregular food intake, 3.94 (95% CI 1.45-10.69) for previous peptic ulcer, 3.71 (95% CI 1.26-10.89) for recent weight loss, 4.44 (95% CI 1.48-13.30) for heavy alcohol abuse, 2.92 (95% CI 1.36-6.26) for recent stress and 5.26 (95% CI 1.19-23.33) for a past history of GIB.
Conclusion: This study identified a group at 'high risk' for GIB which would benefit from the development of a prophylactic therapy.