During the period 1970-1978, admissions to short-term nonfederal hospitals in the U.S. for duodenal ulcer decreased by 43%, whereas admissions for gastric ulcer did not change significantly. The decline in admissions for duodenal ulcer was greatest for uncomplicated cases, less for those with hemorrhage, and least (and not significant) in those with perforation. During the period 1970-1977, U.S. Vital Statistics reports of deaths from peptic ulcer decreased 31%, with about equal declines in total deaths, those associated with hemorrhage, and those associated with hemorrhage, and those associated with perforation. The fall in death rate involved both gastric and duodenal ulcer in both men and women. The male/female ratio has been falling steadily, and now stands at about 1.2 for hospitalizations and about 1.5 for deaths. From 1970 to 1978 the percentage of persons over 60 yr of age rose from 14 to 15% in the U.S. population as a whole, from 23 to 29% in persons hospitalized for all causes, from 27 to 36% in those hospitalized for duodenal ulcer, and from 40 to 48% in those hospitalized for gastric ulcer.