Trends for Incidence of Hospitalization and Death Due to GI Complications in the United States From 2001 to 2009

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OBJECTIVES:Studies from the 1990s through mid-2000s report variable decreases in upper gastrointestinal (UGI) complications and differ regarding changes in lower gastrointestinal (LGI) complications. We determined incidence and case fatality of hospitalizations for GI complications in the United States over the past decade.METHODS:We used a national inpatient database to calculate yearly projections from 2001–2009 for incidence and case fatality of hospitalizations with primary discharge diagnoses of UGI and LGI complications (bleeding, perforation, and obstruction) and of undefined GI bleeding.RESULTS:Age/sex-adjusted incidence of GI complications decreased non-significantly from 236.1 to 223.7/100,000 population from 2001–2009. Components were UGI complications (85.0 to 66.0/100,000), LGI complications (100.3 to 104.4/100,000), and undefined bleeding (50.8 to 53.3/100,000). Decreases were seen in UGI bleeding (78.4 to 60.6/100,000), peptic ulcer bleeding (48.7 to 32.1/100,000), LGI bleeding (41.8 to 35.7/100,000), and colonic diverticular bleeding (30.4 to 23.9/100,000), whereas LGI obstruction increased (55.0 to 66.0/100,000). Age/sex-adjusted case fatality decreased from 3.78 to 2.70%. 2009 case fatality rates were 2.45% for UGI bleeding, 3.00% for undefined bleeding, 1.47% for LGI bleeding, 2.30% for LGI obstruction, 10.7% for UGI perforation, and 16.0% for LGI perforation. Case fatality increased with age, but was 3.54% in patients >75 years with bleeding or obstruction.CONCLUSIONS:Hospitalizations for UGI complications are decreasing in the United States owing to a decrease in UGI bleeding. LGI complications are relatively stable, with a decrease in LGI bleeding and a larger increase in LGI obstruction. Case fatality owing to bleeding or obstruction is low, increasing with age but remaining <5% even in the elderly.

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