Methods: Clinical data of all peptic ulcer subjects endoscopically detected at the 7 major hospitals in the middle of the stricken area during the 3 months after the earthquake were retrospectively collected. Based on endoscopic and laboratory findings, peptic ulcer cases were divided into 227 bleeding ulcer cases and 102 non-bleeding controls. Other than ordinary risk factors for bleeding ulcers, the refugee shelter was included in the analysis as a unique confounder after the earthquake. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to adjust for potential confounders.
Background: We have reported that the total number of peptic ulcers (PUs) had increased 1.5-fold after the Great East Japan Earthquake compared with those of the previous year, and that hemorrhagic ulcers were more prominently increased by 2.2-fold. The aim of this study is to determine the risk factors for bleeding ulcers after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Results: Eighty-seven (27 %) of 329 PUs emerged from refuge shelters, and the majority (76 of 87) of PUs occurring in such shelters was the bleeding type. Multivariate regression showed that residence in a shelter was a strong risk factor for ulcer bleeding with OR (95 % CI): 4.4 (2.1–9.6, p < 0.0001), independent of the progressiveness of ulcer diseases.
Conclusions: Accommodation in a refugee shelter can be a strong risk factor for ulcer bleeding after a large-scale disaster. Since acid-suppressive drugs are supposed to decrease the risk for stress-induced ulcer bleeding, our results will encourage effective use of a limited medical resource in such catastrophic events.
- Bleeding peptic ulcers
- Refugee shelter
- Risk factors
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