Hyperplastic polyps are common gastric lesions characterized by hyperplastic foveolae with variable amounts of inflamed stroma. Their pathogenesis is unknown, but they have been reported to occur in association with various forms of chronic gastritis, particularly autoimmune gastritis and Helicobacter pylori gastritis. Comprehensive histologic evaluation of the background mucosal pathology in patients with hyperplastic polyps has not been previously performed. We studied 160 patients with gastric hyperplastic polyps and characterized endoscopic and histologic features of the polyps (i.e., location, multiplicity, and presence of dysplasia and adenocarcinoma) and the background gastric mucosa (i.e., intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, carcinoma, and presence and classification of gastritis). Hyperplastic polyps were most common in the antrum (60%) and were multiple in 20% of patients. Focal intestinal metaplasia of the polyp was present in 16% and dysplasia in 4% of patients. Only one patient (0.6%) had adenocarcinoma within the polyp. Evaluation of the surrounding gastric mucosa showed at least focal intestinal metaplasia in 37% of patients, adenoma or low-grade flat epithelial dysplasia in 2%, and synchronous or metachronous adenocarcinoma in 6%. Eighty-five percent of patients had inflammatory mucosal pathology, most commonly active chronic H. pylori gastritis (25%), reactive or chemical gastropathy (21%), and metaplastic atrophic gastritis of the autoimmune (12%) or environmental (8%) type. These results indicate a strong association between various forms of gastritis and the development of hyperplastic polyps and further emphasize the importance of biopsy of the nonpolypoid gastric mucosa during endoscopic examination.