Helicobacter pylori prevalence in non-ulcer dyspepsia - Ethnic and socio-economic differences

Louw J.A. ; Jaskiewicz K. ; Girdwood A.H. ; Zak J. ; Trey G. ; Lucke W. ; Truter H. ; Kotze V.W.T.J. (1993)


The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za


Helicobacter pylori is an important cause of gastritis and a number of therapeutic trials suggest that it may be important in the genesis of duodenal ulcer recurrence. The reported prevalence of gastric colonisation by the organism varies considerably. The aim of this cross-sectional survey was to determine its prevalence in non-ulcer dyspeptics and to determine whether this is influenced by age, race, sex, socio-economic status, educational level and the number of persons sharing accommodation. One hundred and sixty-nine patients underwent endoscopy; biopsy specimens were taken from the antrum and H. pylori status was determined histologically. Gastric colonisation was found in 106 patients (63%). The prevalence showed a marked ethnic difference: 40% in whites and 71% in coloureds (P < 0,001). The ethnic groups were characterised by significant differences in socio-economic status (P < 10-6), educational level (P < 10-6), number of persons sharing accommodation (P < 10-6) and age (P < 0,001). These same differences were found when comparing the H. pylori-positive and negative groups, but were less marked and could be attributed to the marked differences between ethnic groups. We conclude that H. pylori prevalence differs between the ethnic groups studied. This may be because of varying degrees of exposure risk.

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