Gastric acid secretion was studied in 20 patients with typhoid fever (Group A), ten patients with fever other than typhoid (Group B), and ten healthy adults of matched age and sex (Group C). Patients with typhoid showed reduced acid secretion at the time of fever and one week after subsidence of fever as compared to Group C. In uncomplicated patients (Group A1), these values rose thereafter but in complicated patients (Group A2) they remained low even 12 weeks after subsidence of fever. This suggests that these patients had pre-existing hypochlorhydria which predisposed them to a severe form of disease. There may be many factors playing a significant role in making typhoid patients more prone to develop complications but the importance of gastric acid levels has also to be considered.
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