Objectives The understanding of changes in comorbidity might improve the management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB); such changes might not be detectable in short-term studies. We aimed to study UGIB mortality as adjusted for comorbidity and the trends in risk scores over a 14-year period.
Methods Patients presenting with UGIB to a single institution, 1996–2010, were assessed. Those with multiple comorbidities were managed in a multi-disciplinary care unit since 2000. Trends with time were assessed using logistic regression, including those for Charlson comorbidity score, the complete Rockall score and 30-day mortality.
Results 2669 patients were included. The Charlson comorbidity score increased significantly with time: the odds of a high (3+) score increasing at a relative rate of 4.4% a year (OR 1.044; p<0.001). The overall 30-day mortality was 4.9% and inpatient mortality was 7.1%; these showed no relationship with time. When adjusted for the increasing comorbidity, the odds of death decreased significantly at a relative rate of 4.5% per year (p=0.038). After the introduction of multi-disciplinary care, the raw mortality OR was 0.680 (p=0.08), and adjusted for comorbidity it was 0.566 (p=0.013).
Conclusions 30-day mortality decreased when adjusted for the rising comorbidity in UGIB; whether this is related to the introduction of multi-disciplinary care needs to be considered.
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