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April 12, 1947


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Gastroenterology, the Lahey Clinic.

JAMA. 1947;133(15):1055-1060. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880150011005

Among clinicians it is generally believed that peptic ulcer is comparatively infrequent in elderly patients and that ulcer, particularly duodenal ulcer, is predominantly a disease of the young or middle aged.

The statistics on the age grouping of ulcer patients compiled by Mulsow1 indicate that the infrequency of ulcer after the age of 60 is more apparent than real. In 4,079 cases collected from the literature Mulsow found that 10.5 per cent occurred in persons above the age of 60, which varies but little from the age distribution of the general white population in the United States, which is reported as 10.8 per cent over the age of 60.

There are factors other than the age grouping of the population as a whole that explain why the clinician sees peptic ulcer only rarely in elderly persons. In spite of the concept that peptic ulcer is a chronic constitutional disease