Estimates of the population prevalence of peptic and duodenal ulceration in men aged between 25 and 64 years were made in the London borough of Lambeth. The sampling frame for these estimates was a 20% private census. The lifetime prevalence rate of proved peptic ulcer (haematemesis, gastric and duodenal ulcers as validated by operation or barium meal), adjusted for age and social class, was estimated to be 6-7%, while the similarly adjusted lifetime prevalence for duodenal ulcer was 4-4%. The lifetime prevalences increased with age but not significantly so. A social class gradient was demonstrated with the highest prevalence in social class I and II. Previously described associations with blood group, secretor status, and serum pepsinogen were confirmed. Reported use of medical services increased with increasing severity of symptoms. A large number of respondents, however, who reported symptoms reported no medical care. It seemed unlikely that those men who reported symptoms and no medical care had demonstrable peptic ulcers.
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