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August 1963

Peptic Ulcer in Africa

Author Affiliations


Arch Surg. 1963;87(2):206-208. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310140014004

It is generally taught that peptic ulcer is a disease of civilization. It is believed to be much more common among the white race than among the dark races. Also it has been shown in the United States that peptic ulcer is much less common among the Negroes than the white population.1

However, there are reports in the literature revealing that there are localized areas in Africa and South India where duodenal ulcer is extremely common.

Bergsma reported in 1931 that gastric ulcers are very common among the adult male population of Ethiopia.2 He considered their diet which is very rich in cayenne pepper as the agent responsible for the high incidence of ulcers among these people.

In 1948 Ellis published in the British Journal of Surgery a "Study of Peptic Ulcer in Nigeria."3 He reported on 124 cases of peptic ulcer which he operated upon. Of

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