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.
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.
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Last reviewed December 2016 by Daus Mahnke, MD Last Updated: 5/20/2015