Background. Silent peptic ulcer has been considered to be associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The recent studies have reported no relationship between them. Aim. We attempted to investigate an association between asymptomatic peptic ulcer and NSAID in Korean adults. Methods. The subjects were enrolled from participants visiting Myongji Hospital for health examination program of the Korean National Health Insurance Corporation. The questionnaires were designed to investigate individual medical information and gastroduodenal symptoms. Results. From May 2005 to March 2009, 5459 participants were enrolled and 299 participants were excluded. Of 5160 participants, 3144 (60.9%) participants were asymptomatic and 424 (8.2%) participants had peptic ulcer. Among 3144 asymptomatic participants, NSAID-taking participants had the odds ratio of 1.4 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7-2.6, p = 0.339] for the risk of peptic ulcer. Among 424 peptic ulcer patients, 247 (58.3%) were asymptomatic. They had lower prevalence of NSAID use (4.9% vs. 14.7%). The asymptomatic gastric ulcer patients had smaller size and more frequent healing stage than the symptomatic gastric ulcer patients. In multivariable analysis of 424 peptic ulcer patients, NSAID patients had the odds ratio of 0.249 (95%CI: 0.115-0.536, p < 0.05) for asymptomatic peptic ulcer. In subgroup analysis of 284 gastric ulcer patients, NSAID-taking patients had the odds ratio of 0.263 (95% CI: 0.105-0.657, p = 0.004) for asymptomatic peptic ulcer. Conclusion. NSAID has an inverse association with asymptomatic patients with gastric peptic ulcer, but has no association with gastroduodenal symptoms in duodenal ulcer patients. These suggest that NSAID may be associated with gastroduodenal symptoms rather than masking symptoms, at least in gastric ulcer patients.
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