From 183 patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, we used antral and corpus gastric biopsies for bacterial culture and histopathologic examination, blood samples to detect immunoglobulin G antibodies against Helicobacter pylori, and H pylori genomic DNA to analyze cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA) and vacuolating cytotoxin (vacA) genotypes. As expected, among H pylori biopsy-positive patients, those with duodenal ulcer (DU) (n = 34) had significantly more severe chronic and acute inflammation (P <.001) and epithelial degeneration (P =.004) in the gastric antrum than in the gastric corpus. Each of those 3 parameters and H pylori density were significantly higher in the antrum of patients with DU than in patients with gastric ulcer (GU) or no ulcer. Colonization with vacA s1/cagA-positive strains of H pylori was associated with inflammation and epithelial degeneration in gastric mucosa and increased risk for peptic ulcer disease (PUD), whereas colonization with vacA s2m2/cagA-negative strains was associated with mild gastric histopathology and was not associated with any significant risk for PUD. The predominant H pylori strains in African Americans were vacA s1bm1/cagA-positive, whereas all genotypes were well represented in non-Hispanic-Caucasians. By multivariate analysis, H pylori colonization was significantly associated with DU (Adjusted odds ratio [AdjOR] = 3.2 [1.4-7.2]) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) use was inversely associated (AdjOR = 0.3 [0.2-0.7]). NSAID use (AdjOR = 4.3 [1.02-18.5]) and African-American ethnicity (AdjOR = 10.9 [2.6-50]) were significantly associated with GU. Smoking and age were not significantly associated with either DU or GU. These data indicate that DU is associated with an antral-dominant gastritis, and H pylori genotype and NSAID use independently contribute to the pathogenesis of PUD. HUM PATHOL 32:264-273. This is a US Government work. There are no restrictions on its use.