Incidence of Duodenal Ulcers and Gastric Ulcers in a Western Population: Back to Where It Started
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: As recently as 40 years ago, a decline in the incidence of peptic ulcers was observed. The discovery of Helicobacter pylori had a further major impact on the incidence of ulcer disease. Our aim was to evaluate the trends in the incidence and bleeding complications of ulcer disease in the Netherlands.METHODS: From a computerized endoscopy database of a district hospital, the data of all patients who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy from 1996 to 2005 were analyzed. The incidence of duodenal and gastric ulcers, with and without complications, were compared over time.RESULTS: Overall, 20,006 upper gastrointestinal endoscopies were performed. Duodenal ulcers were diagnosed in 696 (3.5%) cases, with signs of bleeding in 158 (22.7%). Forty-five (6.5%) of these ulcers were classified as Forrest I and 113 (16.2%) as Forrest II. Gastric ulcers were diagnosed in 487 cases (2.4%), with signs of bleeding in 60 (12.3%). A Forrest 1 designation was diagnosed in 19 patients (3.9%) and Forrest 2 in 41 patients (8.4%). The incidence of gastric ulcers was stable over time, while the incidence of duodenal ulcers declined.CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of duodenal ulcer disease in the Dutch population is steadily decreasing over time. Test and treatment regimens for H pylori have possibly contributed to this decline. With a further decline in the prevalence of H pylori, the incidence of gastric ulcers is likely to exceed the incidence of duodenal ulcers in the very near future, revisiting a similar situation that was present at the beginning of the previous century.