Incidence of outpatient physician claims for upper gastrointestinal symptoms among new users of celecoxib, ibuprofen, and naproxen in an insured population in the United States

Goldstein, Jay L.; Zhao, Sean Z.; Burke, Thomas A.; Palmer, Ryan; Von Allmen, Heather; Henderson, Scott C.
December 2003
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Dec2003, Vol. 98 Issue 12, p2627
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the risk of outpatient medical claims for UGI symptoms among new users of celecoxib versus ibuprofen, and naproxen. METHODS: The study was conducted using LifeLink,â„¢ an insurance claims database of approximately 1.8 million employees, dependents, and retirees in the United States. Patients newly treated with a prescription of celecoxib, ibuprofen, or naproxen between June 1, 1999, and June 30, 2001, were included. A patient with an upper GI (UGI) symptom was any individual with an outpatient physician claim for dyspepsia (ICD-9 = 536.8), abdominal pain (789.0), or nausea/vomiting (787.0). Incidence was determined using person-time analysis. Multivariate analyses were conducted using Poisson and Cox regression models. RESULTS: The cohort consisted of patients prescribed celecoxib (n = 68,939), ibuprofen (n = 71,456), or naproxen (n = 50,014). At baseline, celecoxib users were older and more likely to have a history of UGI or cardiovascular conditions. The incidence rate of any UGI symptom was 0.46 per 1,000 patient-days for celecoxib, 0.70 for ibuprofen, and 0.62 for naproxen. After adjusting for confounding factors using Poisson regression, the ibuprofen rate was 48% higher than the celecoxib rate (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.48; 95% CI = 1.39-1.58; p < 0.001), whereas the naproxen rate was 40% higher (IRR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.31-149; p <0.001). The association between drug use and UGI symptoms was confirmed by Cox regression analysis; the hazard ratios were 1.21 (95% CI = 1.13-1.29; p < 0.001) for ibuprofen and 1.15 (95% CI = 1.07-1.23; p < 0.001) for naproxen relative to celecoxib. Younger age, female sex, medical history of UGI, cardiovascular and renal conditions, and higher baseline average healthcare expenditures for the 12-month period preceding the index prescription were also significantly associated with an increased incidence of UGI symptoms.


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