Peptic ulcer disease in healthcare workers: A nationwide population-based cohort study

Hong Yue Lin, Shih Feng Weng, Hung Jung Lin, Chien Chin Hsu, Jhi Joung Wang, Shih Bin Su, How Ran Guo, Chien Cheng Huang

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Health care workers (HCWs) in Taiwan have heavy, stressful workloads, are on-call, and have rotating nightshifts, all of which might contribute to peptic ulcer disease (PUD). We wanted to evaluate the PUD risk in HCWs, which is not clear. Using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified 50,226 physicians, 122,357 nurses, 20,677 pharmacists, and 25,059 other HCWs (dieticians, technicians, rehabilitation therapists, and social workers) as the study cohort, and randomly selected an identical number of non-HCWpatients (i.e., general population) as the comparison cohort. Conditional logistical regression analysis was used to compare the PUD risk between them. Subgroup analysis for physician specialties was also done. Nurses and other HCWs had a significantly higher PUD risk than did the general population (odds ratio [OR]: 1.477; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.433-1.521 and OR: 1.328; 95% CI: 1.245-1.418, respectively); pharmacists had a lower risk (OR: 0.884; 95% CI: 0.828-0.945); physicians had a nonsignificantly different risk (OR: 1.029; 95% CI: 0.987-1.072). In the physician specialty subgroup analysis, internal medicine, surgery, Ob/Gyn, and family medicine specialists had a higher PUD risk than other physicians (OR: 1.579; 95% CI: 1.441-1.731, OR: 1.734; 95% CI: 1.565-1.922, OR: 1.336; 95% CI: 1.151-1.550, and OR: 1.615; 95% CI: 1.425-1.831, respectively). In contrast, emergency physicians had a lower risk (OR: 0.544; 95% CI: 0.359-0.822). Heavy workloads, long working hours, workplace stress, rotating nightshifts, and coping skills may explain our epidemiological findings of higher risks for PUD in some HCWs, which might help us improve our health policies for HCWs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0135456
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 24

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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