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A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop peptic ulcer disease with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing peptic ulcer disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Infection with H. pylori is the most common risk factor for developing peptic ulcer disease. Keep in mind that the majority of people with H. pylori infection do not ever get peptic ulcer disease symptoms.

Medications
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Biphosphonates
  • Potassium chloride
  • Chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer
Medical Conditions
Other Factors

Smoking and drinking alcohol in excess can increase your risk of getting peptic ulcer disease. They also slow the healing process of peptic ulcers.

If you have family members with a history of peptic ulcer disease, this may also increase your risk.

References:

H. pylori and peptic ulcers. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/index.aspx. Updated April 30, 2012. Accessed April 29, 2013.

Meurer LN, Bower DJ. Management of helicobacter pylori infection. Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(7):1327-36.

Peptic ulcer disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 22, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013.

Understanding peptic ulcer disease. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/peptic-ulcer-disease. Published April 23, 2010. Accessed April 29, 2013.



Last reviewed March 2014 by Daus Mahnke, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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