Acute Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with dyspeptic symptoms but chronic infection has not clearly been shown to cause symptoms. To define further the role of H. pylori infection and gastritis in dyspepsia, we interviewed all patients about to undergo upper endoscopy, recorded the primary indication for endoscopy, noted the endoscopic findings, and obtained antral biopsies. Among non-ulcer patients there was a strong correlation of acute gastritis with H. pylori. Gastritis and H. pylori increased with age, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use correlated with normal histology. Neither H. pylori concentration nor gastritis grade correlated with gender, use of alcohol and tobacco, indication for endoscopy, or symptoms (epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, belching, heartburn, halitosis, and flatulence).