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News

H pylori influences iron stores and iron deficiency

The latest issue of Helicobacter investigates the effect of H pylori infection on iron stores and iron deficiency in urban Alaska Native adults.

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Helicobacter pylori infection has been correlated with low serum ferritin and iron deficiency.

As a secondary analysis of a study of H. pylori reinfection, we investigated the association of H. pylori infection and the effect of its eradication on serum ferritin and iron deficiency.

Dr Karen Miernyk and colleagues from Alaska, USA reported that Alaska Native adults undergoing esophagogastroduodenoscopy had sera collected, and a 13C urea breath test was performed.

Those H. pylori positive were treated with an antibiotic regime.

Those who tested negative 2 months after treatment were evaluated at 4, 6, 12, and 24 months by urea breath test, and serum ferritin with an immunoradiometric assay.

The researchers excluded persons from further analysis if they were prescribed iron by their provider.

19 out of 121 H. pylori-positive persons had iron deficiency
Helicobacter

The research team measured serum ferritin for 241 persons, 121 out of 241 were H. pylori positive.

The doctors examined that the geometric mean ferritin for persons with and without H. pylori infection was 37 μg/L and 50 μg/L, respectively.

At enrollment, 19 out of 121 H. pylori-positive persons had iron deficiency compared with 8 out of 120 H. pylori negative.

The researchers noted that among 66 persons tested at 24 months, the geometric mean ferritin was higher at 24 months versus enrollment.

The team noted that 6 of 11 persons with iron deficiency at enrollment no longer had iron deficiency, and had a higher geometric mean ferritin 24 months after treatment.

Dr Miernyk's team commented "H. pylori infection was correlated with lower serum ferritin and iron deficiency."

"After H. pylori eradication, serum ferritin increased and approximately half of persons resolved their iron deficiency."

"Testing for H. pylori infection and subsequent treatment of those positive could be considered in persons with unexplained iron deficiency."

Helicobacter 2013 18(3): 222–22
12 June 2013

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