Department of Economics and Business Economics

Anders Hammerich Riis

Preadmission use of SSRIs alone or in combination with NSAIDs and 30-day mortality after peptic ulcer bleeding

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OBJECTIVE. Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increases the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and this risk is amplified by concomitant use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The aim of the study was to examine the impact of SSRI use alone or in combination with NSAIDs on 30-day mortality after peptic ulcer bleeding (PUB). MATERIAL AND METHODS. A population-based cohort study of patients with a first hospitalization with PUB in three Danish counties was carried out between 1991 and 2005 using medical databases. We calculated 30-day mortality rate ratios (MRRs) associated with the use of SSRIs, alone or in combination with NSAIDs, adjusted for important covariates. RESULTS. Of 7415 patients admitted with PUB, 5.9% used SSRIs only, and 3.8% used SSRIs in combination with NSAIDs, with a 30-day mortality of 11.8% and 11.3%, respectively. Compared with patients who used neither SSRIs nor NSAIDs, the adjusted 30-day MRR was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.76-1.36) for current users of SSRIs and 0.89 (0.62-1.28) for the combined use of SSRIs with NSAIDs. There was a 2.11-fold (95% CI 1.35-3.30) increased risk of death associated with SSRI use starting within 60 days of admission; for those younger than 80 years, the adjusted MRR was 1.54 (0.72-3.29), and 2.57 (1.47-4.49) for those older than 80 years. CONCLUSIONS. Use of SSRIs, alone or in combination with NSAIDs, was not associated with increased 30-day mortality following PUB. However, increased mortality was found in patients who started SSRI therapy, particularly among those older than 80 years. We can only speculate on whether this finding is due to pharmacological action or confounding factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Pages (from-to)1288-95
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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