Background/Purpose: Helicobacter pylori infection and drugs are the two major risk factors for peptic ulcer bleeding. The role of these two factors may change with changes in the prevalence of H pylori and use of NSAIDs. This study aimed to determine the cause, endoscopic features, and outcome of peptic ulcer bleeding in a community hospital in southern Taiwan. Methods: Patients who received esophagogastroduodenoscopy on arrival at the emergency department and were found to have actively bleeding ulcers or ulcers with stigmata of recent hemorrhage were included. H pylori infection was documented by the rapid urease test, histology, and/or C-13 urease breath test. Medication history, comorbidities, requirement for endoscopic therapy, blood transfusion, hospitalization days, and rebleeding rates were analyzed. Results: A total of 204 patients were enrolled with a mean age of 64.8 ± 15.2 years, with 58.3% of the subjects being female. There were 62 patients (30.4%) with H pylori infection only, 40 patients (19.6%) with drug use only, 67 patients (32.8%) with H pylori infection and drug use, and 37 patients (17.2%) without H pylori or drug use. A total of 107 patients (52.5%) were found to have had drug exposure. Drug exposure had an odds ratio (OR) of 2.34 [95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.30-4.20] for gastric ulcer bleeding and H pylori had an OR of 2.64 (95% CI = 1.17-5.97) for combined gastric and duodenal ulcer bleeding. The mean hospitalization period was 5.7 ± 4.0 days and the overall re-bleeding rate was 4.0%. The H pylori negative and drug negative subjects needed more endoscopic therapy (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Drug use, especially NSAIDs, aspirin, and clopidogrel has become an important cause of peptic ulcer bleeding in southern Taiwan.
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