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What increases my risk for peptic ulcers?

The main cause of a peptic ulcer is an infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. However, not all people infected with the bacteria have any symptoms or ulcers. In fact, in the United States, an estimated 30% to 40% of the population has this bacterium.

At increased risk are people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These include some common pain relievers (like aspirin and ibuprofen). The risk of developing a peptic ulcer is higher in people who drink heavily or smoke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.