The number of stomach ulcer cases in Korea drastically surges among people who are aged 40 or older, according to data.
The National Health Institute Service says the top three age groups that reported the most cases of stomach ulcers in 2016 were people in their fifties, sixties, and forties.
The combined number of patients from these groups adds up to more than 430-thousand people…making up nearly 54 percent of the total tally.
Stomach ulcer is a type of peptic ulcer disease, which affects both the stomach and small intestines.
It occurs when digestive acids start eating away at the tissues on the inner surface of the stomach.
This happens when the mucous layer coating around the stomach to provide protection is weakened enough to let the acids infiltrate.
Symptoms include massive pain in the middle of the abdomen between the chest and the belly button, nausea, belching, vomiting, and weight loss.
There are two most common causes of stomach ulcer.
First is an infection with the bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, which accounts for the patients in most developing countries.
The second cause is a long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
The total number of stomach ulcer patients in Korea has continued to decline over the past six years.
However, the constant rise in number of middle-aged patients remains a concerning factor.
Experts say prompt treatment with medications is the best way to tackle the disease, but they add healthy habits including a balanced diet and getting enough sleep are important preventive measures that can help bring down the number of stomach ulcer cases.
Cho Sung-min, arirang news.