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The rate of NSAID-induced endoscopic ulcers increases linearly but not exponentially with age: a pooled analysis of 12 randomised trials
  1. Maarten Boers1,
  2. Marco J D Tangelder2,
  3. Hein van Ingen3,
  4. John G Fort4,
  5. Jay L Goldstein5
  1. 1Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Astra-Zeneca Sweden and University Hospital Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Basel, Switzerland
  4. 4Adolor Corporation, Exton, Pennsylvania, USA
  5. 5Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor M Boers
    Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center 9B-118, PO Box 7507, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands;{at}


The risk of major ulcer complications on treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is known to increase exponentially with age. However, in a pooled analysis of 12 trial arms, the incidence of endoscopic ulcers on treatment with NSAID was found to increase with age in a roughly linear fashion. Thus, it is concluded that increasing age is associated with both more frequent and more serious NSAID gastropathy.

  • NSAID, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug

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  • Competing interests: MB has participated in advisory boards for Pharmacia and Pfizer, the manufacturer of celecoxib. MT, HI and JF were employees of Pharmacia at the time of design and execution of the study, but have left the company since its merger with Pfizer. JG has been reimbursed by Pharmacia and Pfizer for attending conferences, speaking/participating at conferences, and has received monies to conduct research and has also received compensation for acting as a consultant.

  • All authors contributed to design, analysis, interpretation and report. Data extraction from the original trial datasets and analyses were performed under the supervision of H van Ingen at Pharmacia Corporation.

  • Published Online First 3 August 2006