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Summary

Background

Peptic ulcer bleeding remains a major healthcare problem despite decreasing prevalence of peptic ulcer disease. The role of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the risk of peptic ulcer bleeding has not yet been established.

Aim

To determine if COPD patients have a higher risk of peptic ulcer bleeding than the general population and to identify the risk factors of peptic ulcer bleeding in COPD patients.

Methods

From Taiwan's National Health Insurance research database, 62 876 patients, including 32 682 COPD and 30 194 age-gender-matched non-COPD controls, were recruited. Cox proportional hazard regression was performed to evaluate independent risk factors for ulcer bleeding in all patients and to identify risk factors in COPD patients.

Results

During the 8-year follow-up, COPD patients had a significant higher rate of peptic ulcer bleeding than the control group (< 0.001, by log-rank test). By Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, COPD [hazard ratio (HR) 1.93, 95% CI 1.73–2.17] was an independent risk factor after adjusting for age, gender, underlying comorbidities and ulcerogenic medication. Age > 65 years, male, comorbidities of hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, history of peptic ulcer disease, and chronic renal disease and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were risk factors of ulcer bleeding in COPD patients.

Conclusion

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have a higher risk of peptic ulcer bleeding after adjustments for possible confounding factors like underlying comorbidities and ulcerogenic medication.