Background : Total use of anti-secretory medication (H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors) is increasing rapidly, but knowledge of factors related to the increasing use is sparse.
Aim : To describe development in the use of anti-secretory medication between 1993 and 2002 at a population level.
Methods : We extracted data on use of anti-secretory medication (H2-blockers and proton pump inhibitors) and ulcerogenic drugs, demographic data, and data on gastroscopy and endoscopically verified oesophagitis and peptic ulcer diagnoses, from three large population-based databases covering the County of Funen, Denmark 1990–2002 (population 470 000).
Results : Between 1993 and 2002 incidence of first time users was stable at 16.7/1000 persons/year. Total amount of consumed anti-secretory medication increased from 10.5 DDD/1000 persons/day to 25.2 DDD/1000 persons/day. Ninety per cent of the increase was related to long-term use of anti-secretory medication (≥180 DDD/patient/year). In 1993 21% of the anti-secretory medication was used by patients with oesophagitis, this increased to 28% in 2002. The proportion of medication used by peptic ulcer patients decreased from 29% in 1993 to 19% in 2002.
Conclusions : Total use of anti-secretory medication increased as a result of more extensive long-term use, and most of the medication was used by patients without diagnosed peptic ulcer or oesophagitis.