Low-dose aspirin and other anti-thrombotic therapy has been increasingly used for vascular protection.
Dr Taha and colleagues assessed using these agents in comparison with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
The research team considered the possibility that the incidence of upper gastrointestinal blood loss has changed in subjects using these drugs.
The team studied the characteristics of all patients with acute upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
The patients attended a single hospital at 3 points over a 6-year period, with 204 patients in 1996, 224 in 1999 and 252 in 2002.
| GI hemorrhage with aspirin rose from 15 to 27 per 100 000 per annum in 6 years|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The incidence of hemorrhage in subjects taking low-dose aspirin rose from 15 per 100 000 of the population per annum in 1996, to 18 in 1999 and 27 in 2002.
The team found that the incidence of hemorrhage in subjects taking other anti-thrombotic drugs was 4 in 1996, 8 in 1999, and 12 in 2002.
The researchers detected no significant change in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug users.
However, the team noted that acute myocardial infarction mortality was 216 per 100 000 in 1996, 221 in 1999 and fell to 169 in 2002.
Dr Taha's team concludes, “The incidence of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage in users of low-dose aspirin and other anti-thrombotic drugs has been steadily rising.”
“This has been paralleled by a fall in cardiac mortality.”