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    Epistaxis is a common symptom in the medical practice. It is associated with various comorbidities and the use of medications, especially anticoagulants. Despite the high lifetime prevalence, there is limited data on prevalence and possible risk factors. The study examines epistaxis care in a large patient population (AOK Lower Saxony) over a ten-year period (2007-2016). Risk factors, age at diagnosis, concomitant medication and comorbidities were analysed and the prevalence in the study period calculated. 162,167 patients visited their doctors between 2007-2016 (308,947 cases). Most patients were treated as outpatients (96.6%) and 54% of patients were men. Over the study period, the prevalence of epistaxis rose by 21% (increase from 8.6 to 9.3 per 1000 insured persons per year) with a comparatively stable prevalence for the inpatient setting (0.2 per 1000 insured persons per year). In 54,105 of all epistaxis cases (17.5%), the use of antithrombotic drugs was recorded (oral anticoagulants: 9.5%). During the study period, increased prescribing of oral anticoagulants (from 7.7% of cases in 2007 to 11.8% in 2016), especially of NOAC was documented (from 0.1% of cases in 2011 to 5.1% in 2016). In addition to arterial hypertension, the predominant male sex and the typical age distribution, we found that cases of epistaxis often received anticoagulation therapy. This study showed an increase of epistaxis along with rising prescriptions of NOAC. In contrast, no increase of severe epistaxis cases leading to hospitalization was found.


    A E Althaus, U Arendt, F Hoffmann, J Lüske, M H Freitag, K Jobski, M Dörks. Epistaxis and anticoagulation therapy: an analysis based on health insurance data from Lower Saxony]. HNO. 2021 Mar;69(3):206-212

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    PMID: 32929520

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