Cimetidine use rose dramatically for peptic ulcer (PU) disease during 1977-1979. Although death rates were dropping before these years, the added choice of treatment may have speeded the wane of PU. Hospital discharge rates in for PU fell in 1971-1976, and in 1978; they remained level in 1977, however, possibly because Cimetidine stimulated more inpatient care in that year. The gradually diminishing length of stay steepened its fall for younger patients in 1977-1978. Moreover, fluctuating surgery rates reached an unusually low level in 1978. Cimetidine treatment could be among the factors postponing surgery of about 30,000 PU cases hospitalized in 1978, the first year of its availability. Since this study used data from the National Center for Health Statistics, we need larger numbers, longer postcimetidine experience, and more detailed analyses to increase the certainty of these findings.