Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are known to cause peptic ulcer and its complications, controversy exists about the number of deaths from ulcer which are attributable to their use. A case-control study was therefore performed to determine whether prior use of non-steroidal and other antiinflammatory compounds was associated with an increased case fatality rate from complications of peptic ulcer. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were used by 39% of a series of 80 patients who had died from peptic ulcer complications and by 37% of 160 controls who were survivors matched for sex, age, ulcer site, and nature of complication (odds ratio 1.1; 95% confidence interval 0.6 to 2.1). Similarly, the rates of prior use of aspirin by cases and controls were almost identical (odds ratio 1-2; 95% confidence interval 0. to 1.9). Thus neither non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs nor aspirin were associated with increased case fatality rates from peptic ulcer.