Introduction The association between thrombocytopenia (TP) and gastrointestinal hemorrhage was not completely understood. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the risk of gastrointestinal hemorrhage and post-hemorrhage mortality in patients with TP. Methods Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified 1033 adults aged ≥ 18 years diagnosed with TP in 2000-2003. Non-TP cohort consisted of 10,330 adults randomly selected and matched by age and sex from the same dataset. Incident events of gastrointestinal hemorrhage occurring after TP from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2008, were ascertained from medical claims. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of gastrointestinal hemorrhage associated with TP were calculated. Another nested cohort study consisted of 27,369 patients with hospitalization due to gastrointestinal hemorrhage between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2010. We calculated the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs of 30-day mortality after gastrointestinal hemorrhage in patients with and without TP during admission. Results The incidences of gastrointestinal hemorrhage for people with and without TP were 14.5 and 5.07 per 1000 person-years, respectively (P < 0.0001). Compared to people without TP, patients with TP had increased risk of gastrointestinal hemorrhage (HR, 2.61; 95% CI, 2.05-3.32). In the nested cohort study, TP was associated with post-hemorrhage mortality (OR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.09-3.59). Conclusion Patients with TP showed higher risks of gastrointestinal hemorrhage and post-hemorrhage mortality. Our findings suggest the urgency of preventing and managing gastrointestinal hemorrhage by a multidisciplinary medical team for this specific population.
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