One hundred and seventy-six students free of gastrointestinal disease were studied to establish normal acid secretion values for healthy male and female students by the augmented histamine test and to re-examine the relationship between gastric acid secretion and ABO blood groups, body weight, fat-free body mass, height, degree of ectomorphy and mesomorphy, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and serum cholesterol. A prospective study was then carried out on gastric acid secretion and the subsequent development after 10 years of duodenal ulcers or dyspepsia.
Young, healthy medical students have a fairly high mean basal and maximal acid output. There was very little difference in the mean acid outputs of the various ABO blood groups. A significant correlation was shown between acid output and body weight and fat-free body mass, but not with the other measurements of body build. Basal acid output was also related to the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Three students who subsequently developed duodenal ulcers all had a preexistent high level of acid secretion. The acid output was, however, similar in the groups who developed significant or minor dyspepsia or who remained asymptomatic.
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