Association Between Oral Corticosteroid Bursts and Severe Adverse Events: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study.

View Abstract

BACKGROUND

Long-term use of oral corticosteroids has known adverse effects, but the risk from brief oral steroid bursts (≤14 days) is largely unknown.

OBJECTIVE

To examine the associations between steroid bursts and severe adverse events, specifically gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, sepsis, and heart failure.

DESIGN

Self-controlled case series.

SETTING

Entire National Health Insurance Research Database of medical claims records in Taiwan.

PARTICIPANTS

Adults aged 20 to 64 years with continuous enrollment in the National Health Insurance program from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015.

MEASUREMENTS

Incidence rates of severe adverse events in steroid burst users and non-steroid users, as well as incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for severe adverse events within 5 to 30 and 31 to 90 days after initiation of steroid therapy.

RESULTS

Of 15 859 129 adult participants, 2 623 327 who received a single steroid burst were included. The most common indications were skin disorders and respiratory tract infections. The incidence rates per 1000 person-years in steroid bursts were 27.1 (95% CI, 26.7 to 27.5) for GI bleeding, 1.5 (CI, 1.4 to 1.6) for sepsis, and 1.3 (CI, 1.2 to 1.4) for heart failure. Rates of GI bleeding (IRR, 1.80 [CI, 1.75 to 1.84]), sepsis (IRR, 1.99 [CI, 1.70 to 2.32]), and heart failure (IRR, 2.37 [CI, 2.13 to 2.63]) significantly increased within 5 to 30 days after steroid therapy initiation and attenuated during the subsequent 31 to 90 days.

LIMITATION

Persons younger than 20 years or older than 64 years were not included.

CONCLUSION

Oral corticosteroid bursts are frequently prescribed in the general adult population in Taiwan. The highest rates of GI bleeding, sepsis, and heart failure occurred within the first month after initiation of steroid therapy.

PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE

National Health Research Institutes, Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan, Chang Gung Medical Foundation, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Investigators
Abbreviation
Ann. Intern. Med.
Publication Date
2020-07-07
Pubmed ID
32628532
Medium
Print-Electronic
Full Title
Association Between Oral Corticosteroid Bursts and Severe Adverse Events: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study.
Authors
Yao TC, Huang YW, Chang SM, Tsai SY, Wu AC, Tsai HJ