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Gastroenterology. 2007 Jun;132(7):2320-7. Epub 2007 Apr 14.

Time trends of ulcer mortality in Europe.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.



The aim of the present study was to follow the time trends of ulcer disease in a representative sample of European countries and assess whether the most recent behavior of peptic ulcer still fits the overall pattern governed by an underlying birth-cohort phenomenon.


Mortality data from 6 countries between 1921 and 2004 were analyzed, including Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. The age-specific death rates of gastric and duodenal ulcers from each individual country were plotted as period-age and cohort-age contours.


The data from the past 50-80 years show striking similarities among the 6 European countries. In all countries alike, the risk of dying from gastric and duodenal ulcer increased among consecutive generations born during the second half of the 19th century until shortly before the turn of the century, and then decreased in all subsequent generations. The time trends of gastric ulcer preceded those of duodenal ulcer by 10-30 years. The increase in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug consumption or introduction of potent antisecretory medications have not affected the long-term downward trends of ulcer mortality. The birth-cohort pattern has continued to influence the temporal variations of peptic ulcer until most recently.


The unique shape of the birth-cohort patterns of gastric and duodenal ulcers and their identical appearance in countries with different health care systems and varying political and socioeconomic histories reflect the overriding influence of Helicobacter pylori infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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