Spironolactone and risk of upper gastrointestinal events: population based case-control study

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To confirm and quantify any association between spironolactone and upper gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers.


Population based case-control study.


A primary care information database in the Netherlands.


All people on the database who were aged 18 or more between 1 January 1996 and 30 September 2003. Patients with a history of alcoholism or gastrointestinal cancer were excluded. Ten controls were matched to each case of gastroduodenal ulcer or upper gastrointestinal bleeding by age (year of birth), sex, and index date.

Main outcome measures

The occurrence of an upper gastrointestinal event (bleeding or ulcers), adjusted for potential confounders with conditional logistic regression analysis.


Within the source population of 306 645 patients, 523 cases of gastric or duodenal ulcer or upper gastrointestinal bleeding were identified and matched to 5230 controls. Current use of spironolactone was associated with a 2.7-fold (95% confidence interval 1.2 to 6.0) increased risk of a gastrointestinal event.


The risk of gastroduodenal ulcers or upper gastrointestinal bleeding is significantly increased in patients using spironolactone.

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