In an attempt to verify whether the periodicity of ulcer-related symptoms would be confirmed by a spring and fall exacerbation of peptic ulcers, we have analyzed the montly variation of active duodenal ulcers found at endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract in the years 1979-1981. Control diagnoses were active gastric ulcers, gastric and rectal adenocarcinomas, and rheumatoid arthritis. Data were also available on hospital admission for perforated ulcers. The calendar fluctuation of active duodenal ulcer is characterized by a significant fall in August which is associated with July and fall peaks. This pattern of variation for duodenal ulcer was evident in both sexes and across the different decades of age. Duodenal ulcer diagnosis and hospitalization for perforated ulcer fluctuated in a similar way. The shape of monthly variation for active duodenal ulcer was not paralleled by similar changes in gastric ulcers and in the control diagnoses, gastric and rectal carcinomas, and rheumatoid arthritis.
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