We have repeated a population-based survey of the pattern and prevalence of dyspeptic symptoms in 2460 subjects two years after the original survey, in order to document the changes in dyspeptic symptoms and consultation behaviour. A validated postal questionnaire was sent to 2460 subjects randomly selected in ten-year age bands from the lists of eight general practitioners working in the south of England. A total of 1417 individuals (58%) responded to both questionnaires. The overall six month prevalence of dyspepsia was unchanged (38%), but while 74% of dyspeptic patients were still getting symptoms, 13% became symptom-free each year. Over half of those who had reported dyspepsia before, but not at the time of, the first survey had experienced recurrence of their symptoms. In the two-year study period 113 individuals experienced dyspepsia for the first time, giving an annual incidence of 11.5%. One in four patients consulted their general practitioner, and 75% of those who had not consulted in the first survey still had not done so two years later. Resolution of symptoms appeared independent of consulting behaviour. Peptic ulcers were identified in 14 patients, mostly those with new dyspepsia, during the study period.