Dr Amnon Sonnenberg from Oregon, USA followed the time trends of ulcer disease in a representative sample of European countries.
The investigative team assessed whether the most recent behavior of peptic ulcer still fits the overall pattern governed by an underlying birth-cohort phenomenon.
The investigators analyzed mortality data from 6 countries between 1921 and 2004.
The countries included Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.
The age-specific death rates of gastric and duodenal ulcers from each individual country were plotted as period-age and cohort-age contours.
|NSAIDs have not affected the long-term downward trends of ulcer mortality|
The investigative team found that the data from the past 50 to 80 years show striking similarities among the 6 European countries.
In all countries alike, the risk of dying from gastric and duodenal ulcer increased among consecutive generations born during the second half of the 19th century until shortly before the turn of the century.
The team noted that the risk then decreased in all subsequent generations.
The time trends of gastric ulcer preceded those of duodenal ulcer by 10 to 30 years.
The increase in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) consumption or introduction of potent antisecretory medications have not affected the long-term downward trends of ulcer mortality.
The birth-cohort pattern has continued to influence the temporal variations of peptic ulcer until most recently.
Dr Sonnenberg concluded, "The unique shape of the birth-cohort patterns of gastric and duodenal ulcers and their identical appearance in countries with different health care systems, varying political and socioeconomic histories reflect the overriding influence of Helicobacter pylori infection."