Objectives: To determine whether basal acid output was affected by patient age.
Methods: Basal acid output determined by nasogastric suction was prospectively evaluated in normal subjects (n = 65) and patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (n = 228), gastric ulcer (n = 81), duodenal ulcer (n = 184), and nonulcer dyspepsia (n = 105).
Results: There was no correlation between basal acid output and age for the normal subjects and the patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, and nonulcer dyspepsia. However, there was a significant inverse correlation between age and basal acid output for the 33 male patients with gastric ulcer (r = -0.41, p < 0.05) and the 130 male patients with duodenal ulcer (r = -0.18, p = 0.05). Furthermore, mean basal acid outputs were significantly higher for male patients than for female patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (p < 0.001), gastric ulcer (p < 0.05), and duodenal ulcer (p < 0.001). Mean basal acid output for the 184 patients with duodenal ulcer was significantly higher than the mean basal acid output for the 228 patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (p < 0.001), and both were significantly higher than mean basal acid outputs for the normal subjects and the patients with gastric ulcer and nonulcer dyspepsia (p < 0.0005).
Conclusions: Basal acid output can vary with gender and acid-peptic disease process; however, basal acid output does not vary with regard to age of subject.