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Prevalence of achlorhydria in a normal population and its relation to serum gastrin.

In a middle-aged group of normal subjects achlorhydria after maximal stimulation with pentagastrin was found in 12 out of 366 males (3%) and 2 out of 198 females (1%); 13 of these 14 (93%) had an elevated serum gastrin, of which nine were more than two times normal. In another 11 persons a moderately elevated serum gastrin - less than two times normal - was found in absence of achlorhydria. At least seven of them had hypochlorhydria. Of 540 persons with a normal serum gastrin one had achlorhydria. Determination of the serum gastrin appeared to be fairly reliable as a method of detecting achlorhydria.

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