There has been speculation that peptic ulcer is a vanishing disease. To determine current time trends for peptic ulcers, we examined data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities covering the period 1970 to 1985. For duodenal ulcer, hospitalizations for uncomplicated cases continue to decline, but there has been no decrease in cases with complications (such as perforations or hemorrhages). Hospitalizations for gastric ulcer are increasing, especially for cases with hemorrhage. Duodenal and gastric ulcer death rates have remained fairly constant since 1979. Site-unspecified peptic ulcer death rates doubled in 1979 and have remained at this rate through 1983. This increase can largely be attributed to coding changes made in the 9th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.