A prospective study of alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and the risk of duodenal ulcer in men

Epidemiology. 1997 Jul;8(4):420-4. doi: 10.1097/00001648-199707000-00012.


The associations between smoking, caffeine, and alcohol intake and the risk of duodenal ulcer have rarely been investigated prospectively. We examined these associations in a prospective cohort of 47,806 men, 40-75 years of age, using a mailed baseline questionnaire in 1986, with follow-up every 2 years through 1992. During 6 years of follow-up, we documented 138 newly diagnosed cases of duodenal ulcer. After adjustment for age, energy-adjusted dietary fiber, body mass index, and use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, current smoking was not associated with a substantial risk of duodenal ulcer [relative risk (RR) = 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.61-1.89]. Overall, past smokers were not at increased risk compared with never-smokers (RR = 0.99; 95% CI = 0.69-1.42). Adjusting for other risk factors, alcohol intake (comparing those who drink > 30 gm of alcohol per day to nondrinkers) was not associated with higher risk of duodenal ulcer (RR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.42-1.29). We observed little association between caffeine, caffeine-containing beverages, and decaffeinated coffee and the risk of duodenal ulcer. These results indicate that smoking is not associated with a substantial increase in risk of duodenal ulcer, nor is high intake of alcohol and caffeine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Caffeine / adverse effects*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Duodenal Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Duodenal Ulcer / etiology*
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Caffeine