Calvet X, Navarro M, Gil M, Mas P, Rivero E, Sanfeliu I. Seroprevalence and epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with cirrhosis. J Hepatol. 1997 Jun;26(6):1249-54.

BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori infection is the major pathogenic factor for peptic ulcer disease. Its epidemiology is not fully known; few data are available in patients with chronic liver disease.

AIMS: To investigate the seroprevalence and factors associated with Helicobacter pylori infection in a series of liver cirrhosis patients.

METHODS: Two hundred and twenty consecutive patients were prospectively included in a study aimed to evaluate the effect of dietary intervention on cirrhosis complications and survival. At inclusion, an epidemiological and clinical questionnaire was completed. Sera were obtained and stored at -70 degrees C until analyzed. They were tested for Helicobacter pylori antibodies using a commercial ELISA kit.

RESULTS: Eleven out of 220 patients had borderline anti-Helicobacter pylori IgG titers. Of the remaining 209 patients, 105 (50.2%) showed positive titers of Helicobacter pylori IgG. Univariate analysis showed that Helicobacter pylori infection was more frequent in older patients, those born outside Catalonia, and in patients with a low educational level. Past ethanol consumption and current smoking correlated negatively with Helicobacter pylori infection. Multivariate analysis selected age (OR 3.1. 95% CI 1.46-6.45), educational level (OR 2.2. 95% CI 1.18-4.2) and alcohol consumption (OR 0.7. 95% CI 0.45-0.99) as the variables independently related to Helicobacter pylori infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Helicobacter pylori infection in cirrhosis has the same epidemiological pattern as in the general population. Suggestions that the etiology or the severity of the liver disease could be related to Helicobacter pylori infection were not confirmed by our study.

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