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Aspiration Pneumonia Risk Increased for GLP-1 RA Users Undergoing Endoscopy

Risk for aspiration pneumonia increased for patients undergoing propofol-assisted endoscopies

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 12, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Patients using glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) undergoing endoscopic procedures have an increased risk for aspiration pneumonia, according to a study published online March 27 in Gastroenterology.

Yee Hui Yeo, M.D., from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the incidence and risk for aspiration pneumonia associated with endoscopic procedures among patients who received GLP-1 RAs in a population-based, retrospective cohort study. Data were included from 963,184 individuals who underwent endoscopy: 95.1 and 4.9 percent were GLP-1 RA nonusers and users, respectively.

The researchers found that GLP-1 RA use showed a higher incidence rate of aspiration pneumonia after propensity score matching of potential confounders (0.83 versus 0.63 percent, respectively). Compared with the nonuser group, GLP-1 RA use was associated with a significantly higher risk for aspiration pneumonia (hazard ratio, 1.33). No significant association was seen with either sex group. Patients with propofol-assisted endoscopies had an elevated risk for aspiration pneumonia (hazard ratio, 1.49), but risk was not elevated in the group where propofol was not used. GLP-1 RA users who underwent upper endoscopy and combined upper and lower endoscopy had an increased risk for aspiration pneumonia (hazard ratios, 1.82 and 2.26, respectively), but the risk was not increased for those undergoing lower endoscopy.

“Our study suggests an increased risk of aspiration pneumonia associated with the use of GLP-1 RAs following gastrointestinal endoscopy,” the authors write. “Particular attention should be given to those undergoing propofol sedation, upper endoscopy, or combined upper and lower endoscopies.”

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