Several studies have shown an influence of cigarette smoking on serum pepsinogen group I (PGI) levels in duodenal ulcer patients and in control subjects. The elevation of PGI in smokers has just been interpreted as reflecting some degree of smoking-induced inflammation of the gastric mucosa. We have determined fasting serum PGI by radioimmunoassay in 163 healthy subjects investigated by a survey conducted on a sample population of an urban area in the North-East of Italy by means of a random selection based on the public registers of home addresses. The data reported confirmed that PGI levels are increased by smoking in a healthy population. The main contribution of this study consists in demonstrating in a non-selected population an increase of the only parameter up to date claimed to be a possible serological predictive index for ulcer disease.
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