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Can You Die from Stomach Ulcers?

Can You Die from Stomach Ulcers?


 You CAN die from stomach ulcers.

More Info:  Complications from stomach ulcers result in approximately 6,500 deaths annually.  Ulcers can be very dangerous if they cause hemorrhage or internal bleeding.  The risk of death is highest in patients who have experienced bleeding over a prolonged period, in patients with blood clotting disorders, those with low systolic blood pressure, or those suffering from other serious medical problems.  Heart patients or elderly people who have ulcers have the greatest risk of complications.


In an attempt to identify the cause of death in those with duodenal and gastric ulcers, researchers found that of the 235 deaths that occurred among a sample of 1,905 stomach ulcer patients conducted in Denmark, 10% of the patients died as a direct result of their stomach ulcers.  Half of the stomach ulcer patients who died in this study were operated on beforehand.  [“Causes of death in duodenal and gastric ulcer.” Gastroenterology]

Treatment Reduces Probability of Complications

If a gastric ulcer is found and treated early, the risk of complications will be lower.  If left untreated, however, complications can be serious.  Untreated bleeding is the symptom most likely to result in death.  Gastric ulcer patients who also have other major medical problems or elderly gastric ulcer patients should not postpone treatment and should consult their doctor as soon as possible.


Bonnevie, O.. “Causes of death in duodenal and gastric ulcer.” Gastroenterology 73.5 (1977): 1000-1004. Print.

“Peptic Ulcers: Complications.” Milton S Hershey Medical Center. Penn State Hershey, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <>


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