AIMS: Recently, an apparent protective effect of statins against upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGB) was postulated in a post hoc analysis of a randomized trial. We aimed to evaluate the effect of statin use on acute nonvariceal UGB alone or in combinations with low-dose aspirin and other antithrombotic drugs. METHODS: A population-based case-control study was conducted in the County of Funen, Denmark. Cases (n = 3652) were all subjects with a first discharge diagnosis of serious UGB from a hospital during the period 1995 to 2006. Age- and gender-matched controls (10 for each case) (n = 36 502) were selected by a risk set sampling. Data on all subjects' drug exposure and past medical history were retrieved from a prescription database and from the County's patient register. Confounders were controlled by conditional logistic regression. RESULTS: The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) associating use of statins with UGB were 0.94 (0.78-1.12) for current use, 1.40 (0.89-2.20) for recent use and 1.42 (0.96-2.10) for past use. The lack of effect was consistent across most patient subgroups, different cumulative or current statin doses and different statin substances. In explorative analyses, a borderline significant protective effect was observed for concurrent users of low-dose aspirin [OR 0.43 (0.18-1.05)]. CONCLUSION: Statins do not prevent UGB, except possibly in users of low-dose aspirin.