Life events stress and psychosocial factors in men with peptic ulcer disease. II. Relationships with serum pepsinogen concentrations and behavioral risk factors

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Abstract

We examined in a controlled study whether psychologic disturbances in men with peptic ulcer disease were related to other potential ulcer "risk factors" (serum pepsinogen concentrations, cigarette smoking, and intake of alcohol, aspirin, or coffee). Psychopathology in general, personality features of hostility, irritability, and hypersensitivity, and impaired coping ability (low ego strength) each correlated significantly with serum pepsinogen concentration in ulcer patients (p ≤ 0.005). Cigarette smoking and intake of alcohol and aspirin were increased in ulcer patients but unrelated to psychopathology. Depression was the variable that best discriminated ulcer patients from nonulcer controls; a negative perception of life events, number of relatives with ulcer, and serum pepsinogen I concentration also had a major, unique discriminating value, whereas smoking played a relatively minor role independent of the other variables examined. Our study supports the concept that several interacting factors (psychologic, behavioral, and genetic/physiologic) are likely involved in peptic ulcer disease. Emotional stress may predispose to ulcers by producing gastric hypersecretion, as manifested by hyperpepsinogenemia. © 1988.

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Walker, P., Luther, J., Samloff, I. M., & Feldman, M. (1988). Life events stress and psychosocial factors in men with peptic ulcer disease. II. Relationships with serum pepsinogen concentrations and behavioral risk factors. Gastroenterology, 94(2), 323–330. https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-5085(88)90419-2

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