Use of NSAIDs is recognized as an important cause of peptic ulcer complications. The aim of this nested case-control study was to identify risk factors for NSAID-related ulcer complications. Cases were consecutive NSAID users admitted with an ulcer complication (n = 94), and controls were a random sample of all NSAID users without ulcer complication identified by a pharmaco-epidemiological database (n = 324). Risk factors for patients at start of NSAID-therapy were: high age: 60-75 yr; Odds Ratio (OR) 3.5 (95% CI: 1.8-7.0); > 75 yr: OR 8.8 (4.3-18.1); male sex: OR 1.7 (1.0-3.0); ulcer history: OR 2.5 (1.2-5.1); steroid treatment: OR 2.0 (0.8-4.6); smoking: OR 1.6 (0.9-2.7); alcohol use: OR 1.8 (0.9-3.6). Risk factors for patients on NSAID-therapy were: high age, male sex, ulcer history, and smoking, and furthermore dyspepsia: OR 2.1 (1.0-4.2), especially NSAID-related dyspepsia: OR 8.9 (4.1-19.2). Risk was lower for patients treated more than three months. In conclusion, risk measured from this design can be shown to correlate strongly with the rate difference, a measure that is more clinically relevant than conventional relative risk estimates. Strong risk factors for NSAID-related ulcer complication are high age, male sex, ulcer history, and dyspepsia related to the NSAID therapy.
Ugeskrift for Laeger, 1997, Vol 159, Issue 24, p. 3787-91