JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL RESEARCH, vol.37, no.6, pp.1988-1993, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
The epidemiological characteristics and clinical results of patients who presented with acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage (AUGIH) during the month of Ramadan (October 2007) were compared with those who presented with AUGIH during another, non-Ramadan, month (December 2007). The following were evaluated: age, gender, symptoms, gastrointestinal disease history, risk factors, co-existing diseases, results of rectal, nasogastric and endoscopic examinations, treatment modalities and clinical outcomes. Significantly more patients were diagnosed with AUGIH during Ramadan compared with the non-Ramadan month (43 versus 28, respectively). Significantly more patients diagnosed during Ramadan had a history of previous haemorrhage compared with the non-Ramadan month (72.1% versus 42.9%, respectively). Peptic ulcer was the most common event in both groups and overall endoscopy findings differed between the groups. No other significant differences were found. In conclusion, the number of patients presenting with AUGIH during Ramadan was significantly higher than that of an ordinary month, which suggests that fasting during Ramadan reactivates and aggravates preexisting gastrointestinal diseases.