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Use of cimetidine and other peptic ulcer drugs in Denmark 1977-1990 with analysis of the risk of gastric cancer among cimetidine users.
  1. H Møller,
  2. A Nissen,
  3. J Mosbech
  1. Danish Cancer Registry, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen.


    The prevalence of use of peptic ulcer drugs in the Danish population is described at two points in time using registrations of applications for reimbursement. In 1977-81, the prevalence of use of cimetidine was 0.4% in men and 0.2% in women. In 1989-90, the prevalence of use of peptic ulcer drugs was 1.3% in men and 1.2% in women. The increase in prevalence was apparent in all age groups, but most pronounced at relatively old age. The median age of users increased from 55 years in 1977-81 to 63 years in 1989-90. The data indicated that a third of those who used peptic ulcer drugs in 1977-81 also used these drugs in 1989-90, conditional on surviving this period. The probability of becoming a long term user was highest for those who were 50-69 years in 1977-81. The incidence of gastric cancer was investigated in the cohort of persons who used cimetidine in 1977-81. An excess risk of gastric cancer was apparent in the first years after start of cimetidine use. This is thought to reflect a selection bias. Significantly increased incidence was also observed in women seven years or longer after start of cimetidine use (RR = 4.7; 95% CI: 1.7-10.3). This estimate was, however, based on only six cases, and a similar pattern was not observed in men.

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