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Ethnicity is a strong predictor for Helicobacter pylori infection in young women

Ethnicity is a strong predictor for Helicobacter pylori infection in young women in a multi-ethnic European city, finds the most recent issue of the Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

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At the same time that Helicobacter pylori prevalence is declining in Western countries, immigrants from developing countries with high H. pylori prevalence have settled in Western urban areas.

Actual epidemiological data on H. pylori in a migrant community may help in realizing a more selective approach to assess H. pylori-related diseases.

Dr Wouter den Hollander and colleagues from the Netherlands defined H. pylori prevalence as well as risk groups for H. pylori in a cohort of young women living in a multi-ethnic European city.

The team measured Immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-H. pylori and CagA-antibodies in serum of pregnant women included in a population-based prospective cohort study, the Generation R study.

46% of the 6837 tested women were H. pylori-positive
Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Information on demographics and socioeconomic status was collected by questionnaires.

In total, the researchers 46% of the 6837 tested women were H. pylori-positive, and 35% of them were CagA-positive.

The researchers found that H. pylori prevalence in Dutch women was 24%, which was significantly lower than in non-Dutch women.

The team observed H. pylori positivity in 92% of Moroccan, 80% of Cape Verdean, 81% of Turkish, 60% of Dutch Antillean, and 58% of Surinamese women.

Among H. pylori-positive Dutch subjects, 19% were CagA-positive compared with 40% of the non-Dutch subjects.

Dr den Hollander's team concludes, "Despite a general trend of declining prevalence in Western countries, H. pylori remains highly prevalent in migrant communities, which may constitute target groups for screening and eradication to prevent H. pylori-related diseases."

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013: 28(11):  1705-1711
13 November 2013

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