A community-based group of gastroenterologists examined 623 patients (541 prospectively and 82 retrospectively) with endoscopically diagnosed gastric ulcer disease during a 12-month period. Patients averaged 60 years of age; the majority were women (62%). Women were less likely to smoke, abuse alcohol, and were more likely to present with abdominal pain (p less than 0.05). Whereas patients presenting with bleeding or requiring transfusion were less likely to complain of pain (p less than 0.05), they were more likely to be taking aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and have prior history of bleeding (p less than 0.05). Patients with a prior history of ulcer disease were more likely to smoke, present with pain and use acetaminophen (p less than 0.05). Patients with large ulcers were more likely to bleed, present with pain, and obstruct (p less than 0.05). Multiple gastric ulcers were seen in patients taking aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (p less than 0.05).