The primary objective of this study was to determine the association between the use of gastric acid suppressants (GAS) and the risk of developing spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis (LC). A case-control study nested within a cohort of 480,000 representatives of Taiwan National Health Insurance beneficiaries was carried out. A case was matched with 100 controls on age, gender, and index date of SBP diagnosis. GAS use was identified from the 1-year period before the index date. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for various unbalanced covariates between users and nonusers of GAS. A total of 947 cases of SBP were identified among the 86,418 patients with advanced LC. A significant increased risk of developing SBP was found to be associated with current (within 30 days), and recent (within 30-90 day) use of 2 different classes of GAS: proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs). The confounder adjusted rate ratio (aRR) for the current use of PPIs was 2.77 (95%CI: 1.90-4.04) and H2RAs was 2.62 (95%CI: 2.00-3.42). The risk of SBP attenuated for the recent use of PPIs (aRR: 2.20, 95%CI: 1.60-3.02) or H2RAs (aRR: 1.72, 95%CI: 1.25-2.37). In addition, sensitivity analysis using hospitalized SBP as the primary outcome showed a similar risk for the current use of PPIs (aRR, 3.24; 95%CI: 2.08-5.05) and H2RAs (aRR 2.43; 95%CI 1.71-3.46). Furthermore, higher cumulative days of gastric acid suppression were associated with a higher risk of SBP (trend P<0.0001). To conclude, exposure to GAS was associated with an increased risk of SBP in patients with advanced LC. The association was more pronounced in current PPI users compared with nonusers.
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