, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 629-636,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Risk factors for the development of gastric mucosal lesions in rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving long-term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy and the efficacy of famotidine obtained from the FORCE study


The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of gastric mucosal injury induced by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed on 100 RA patients treated with NSAIDs. Patient factors potentially contributing to the development of NSAID-induced gastric mucosal injury were identified by logistic regression analysis; gastric mucosal injury and ulcers were used as objective variables. Gastric mucosal injury was detected in 62 of 100 patients, and eight of these patients had ulcers. Previous history of ulcers, lifestyle, NSAID dosage, and body mass index were associated with the development of gastric mucosal injury, and the use of diclofenac and steroid dose were associated with the development of ulcers. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) did not appear to influence the risk of NSAID-induced gastric mucosal injury. RA patients treated for long periods with NSAIDs for RA symptoms should be controlled with DMARDs, without consideration of increased doses of steroids, in terms of risk for NSAID-induced gastric mucosal injury. Simultaneously, concomitant use of histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RA) such as famotidine should be considered.