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Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Jan;55(1):66-72. doi: 10.1007/s10620-008-0708-x. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Risk factors for gastrointestinal ulcer disease in the US population.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical University of South Carolina, 25 Courtenay Drive, ART 7100A; MSC 290, Charleston, SC 29425-2900, USA.



Gastrointestinal (GI) ulcers are frequently seen in patients with multiple chronic medical conditions. Few studies have described the overall prevalence, comorbidities, or risk factors associated with this diagnosis. We sought to determine among a national dataset if individuals with certain medical comorbidities are at increased risk for gastrointestinal ulcer disease, while controlling for relevant confounders.


The overall prevalence of GI ulcer is 8.4%. A significant increased risk of ulcer history is associated with older age (OR 1.67), African-Americans (OR 1.20) current (OR 1.99) and former (OR 1.55) tobacco use, former alcohol use (OR 1.29), obesity (OR 1.18), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR 2.34), chronic renal insufficiency (OR 2.29), coronary heart disease (OR 1.46), and three or more doctor visits in a year (OR 1.49).


This large US population-based study reports on a number of demographic, behavioral, and chronic medical conditions associated with higher risk of gastrointestinal ulcer disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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