Before the widespread use of endoscopic therapy, mortality from peptic ulcer hemorrhage was highest in elderly patients, and many deaths in this group were a consequence of postoperative complications. Endoscopic intervention greatly reduces the need for an emergency surgical operation, and consequently increasing age may no longer be a risk factor for death from bleeding ulcer. To examine this hypothesis, the outcome of 326 patients undergoing endoscopic therapy for bleeding peptic ulcer was related to age. One hundred two patients were less than 60 years of age (group I), 116 were 61 to 74 years of age (group II), and 108 were older than 75 years (group III). More group III patients were women (p < .0001) and were receiving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (p < .0001). Associated concomitant diseases were significantly more common in group II and group III patients (p < .001). Forty-nine (45%) group III patients bled from gastric ulcers. More of group II patients were receiving anticoagulant drugs (p < .005). A previous history of peptic ulcer was most common in group I (p < .005), and duodenal ulcer was usually the cause of bleeding in this group. The three groups were well matched in terms of endoscopic stigmata (active bleeding and nonbleeding vessel), admission hemoglobin concentration, the presence of shock, and total transfusion requirements. Endoscopic therapy (injection or heater probe) was possible in 95% of all patients. The need for surgical intervention tended to be lowest in group I (11%, 19%, and 18%), whereas hospital mortality (3%, 6%, and 5%) was very similar. In this large group of unselected patients with major peptic ulcer bleeding, age did not significantly influence response to endoscopic therapy or hospital mortality.