I was operated on two months ago for a perforated ulcer in my duodenum. I never had any gastrointestinal problems my whole life except this. The culprit seems to be NSAID drugs that I have been taking for the past couple of years for my arthritis.
My doctor said that he has been seeing more and more elderly patients with perforated duodenal ulcers lately. He said that when he first started his career, it was seen in younger patients and usually males. But I guess with the more widespread use of NSAIDs now, the elderly are suffering from this a lot more than usual.
I was also one of the few people who had no symptoms before the ulcer perforated. The pain came about very suddenly, so there wasn't anything I could do to prevent it.