In a randomised household survey of 620 people in rural north eastern Nigeria there was a 26% six month prevalence of dyspepsia in adults and a 6% prevalence amongst teenagers. Dyspepsia was associated with the intake of alcohol (p less than 0.0054) and Cola nut (p less than 0.00013). The prevalence increased with age; the mean length of history was nearly four years and over half of the subjects with dyspepsia had sought medical advice, mainly from traditional healers. 12% of a similar group of hospital patients with dyspepsia were previously found to have peptic ulceration, suggesting that the community prevalence for peptic ulceration is 18/1000. This is lower than found in the 'West'.