Rate of Gastric, Duodenal Ulcers Declines in Taiwan

Trend over decade may be associated with anti-H. pylori therapy and use of proton pump inhibitors

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- A drop in hospitalizations for peptic ulcer disease in Taiwan may be associated with an increase in Helicobacter pylori therapy and proton pump inhibitor use, according to research published in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Chun-Ying Wu, M.D., of the Taichung Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues analyzed data from a national health insurance database containing information on 23 million individuals. They assessed data on hospitalizations for peptic ulcers, as well as ulcer-related drug prescriptions from 1997 through 2006.

Hospitalizations for peptic ulcer disease fell significantly during this period, with incidences decreasing from 68.3 to 39.6 per 100,000 and 116.9 to 61.1 per 100,000 for uncomplicated gastric ulcer and bleeding gastric ulcer, respectively. Rates for duodenal ulcers fell as well, decreasing from 46.4 to 13.6 for uncomplicated duodenal ulcer, 108 to 40.1 for bleeding duodenal ulcer, and 9.8 to 5.8 for perforated duodenal ulcer, the researchers report. During these years, prescriptions for anti-H. pylori drugs and proton pump inhibitors rose by 202 percent and 1,071 percent, respectively, the report indicates.

"Compared with previous population-based studies in Western countries, peptic ulcer diseases in Taiwan are characterized in several ways: significantly younger age at presentation and higher incidences of peptic ulcer diseases, especially gastric ulcer diseases, and bleeding peptic ulcers. Further studies focusing on the use of aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, gastroprotective agents, H. pylori infection, or cohort effect will be helpful in explaining these observations," the authors conclude.

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