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April 19, 2000

Rofecoxib and the Risk of Adverse Upper Gastrointestinal Effects

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(15):1960-1961. doi:10.1001/jama.283.15.1957

To the Editor: Dr Langman and colleagues1 presented data suggesting that the risk of adverse gastrointestinal events is lower in patients taking rofecoxib than in patients taking nonselective NSAIDs for osteoarthritis. A past history of peptic ulcer disease was present in 10.1% of their patient population, or approximately 549 patients. It would be of considerable interest to know if the experiment had sufficient power to detect whether the RR with rofecoxib was the same in patients with and without a past history of peptic ulcer. An estimate of this interaction, if it exists, would allow a more precise calculation of the number of previously diagnosed ulcer patients needed to treat to prevent 1 recurrence of disease.