Trends in GI Illnesses and Their Associated Costs
Clinical question: What are the new trends in GI illnesses and their associated costs?
Background: The frequency of illnesses and their treatment costs have changed over the last decade. In order to help healthcare providers focus their attention on these new trends, a new compilation of data is needed.
Study design: Epidemiological analysis.
Setting: Various governmental and private databases representing outpatient clinics, hospitals, and death certificates from multiple regions of the U.S.
Synopsis: The analysis was blinded to patient identifiers but represented multiple regions of the U.S. Symptoms were abstracted from patient surveys, and the rest of the data were collected from record review. The most common reported symptoms were abdominal pain, followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn. The most common clinic diagnoses were reflux, abdominal pain, enteritis/dyspepsia, and constipation. The most common inpatient discharge primary diagnoses included acute pancreatitis, cholecystitis, and diverticulitis. Impressive increases were seen in the number of morbidly obese, C. diff, and fatty liver diagnoses.
Colon cancer was the most common GI malignancy and had the highest mortality. C. diff was the ninth-leading cause of GI-related deaths. All types of scopes (except endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) were performed more commonly now than in the past, with colonoscopy being the most common. The most common indication for an upper endoscopy was reflux, which was also the most common outpatient GI diagnosis.
Bottom line: Healthcare providers need to be aware of new GI illness trends and their associated costs.
Citation: Peery AF, Dellon ES, Lund J, et al. Burden of gastrointestinal disease in the United States: 2012 update. Gastroenterol. 2012;143:1179-1187.
Is Apixaban a Good Stand-Alone Anticoagulant for Extended Treatment in VTE Patients?
Clinical question: Is apixaban an option for the extended treatment of VTE in a simple, fixed-dose regimen?
Background: Apixaban is an oral factor Xa inhibitor that is administered in fixed doses without the need for laboratory monitoring. In the Apixaban after the Initial Management of Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis with First-Line Therapy—Extended Treatment (AMPLIFY-EXT) study, investigators compared the efficacy and safety of two doses of apixaban (2.5 mg and 5 mg) with those of placebo in patients with VTE who had completed six to 12 months of anticoagulation therapy and for whom treating physicians were uncertain about continuing therapy. Additional aims of the study were to determine whether the lower dose of apixaban was effective and whether it was associated with less bleeding than the higher dose, and to examine the effect of treatment on arterial thrombotic outcomes.
Study design: Randomized, double-blind study.
Synopsis: A total of 2,486 patients underwent randomization, 2,482 of whom were included in the intention-to-treat analyses. Symptomatic recurrent VTE or death from VTE occurred in 73 of the 829 patients (8.8%) who were receiving placebo, compared with 14 of the 840 patients (1.7%) who were receiving 2.5 mg of apixaban (a difference of 7.2 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.0 to 9.3) and 14 of the 813 patients (1.7%) who were receiving 5 mg of apixaban (a difference of 7.0 percentage points; 95% CI, 4.9 to 9.1) (P<0.001 for both comparisons). The rates of major bleeding were 0.5% in the placebo group, 0.2% in the 2.5-mg apixaban group, and 0.1% in the 5-mg apixaban group. The rates of clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding were 2.3% in the placebo group, 3.0% in the 2.5-mg apixaban group, and 4.2% in the 5-mg apixaban group. The rate of death from any cause was 1.7% in the placebo group, compared with 0.8% in the 2.5-mg apixaban group and 0.5% in the 5-mg apixaban group.