There have been few reports on Helicobacter pylori infection in asymptomatic Japanese children and adolescents.
Dr Yingsong Lin and colleagues from Japan hypothesized that the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection is very low among Japanese children, and that clinical variables such as serum pepsinogen and iron levels are associated with Helicobacter pylori infection.
The research team conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a sample of 454 junior high school students aged 12-15 years in 4 areas in Nagano Prefecture.
A commercial ELISA kit was used to measure IgG antibody against Helicobacter pylori.
The research team also measured serum pepsinogen and iron levels using standard methods.
A urea breath test was performed for seropositive students.
|The overall prevalence of Helicobacter pylori was 3%|
The researchers found that the overall prevalence of Helicobacter pylori was 3%.
The team noted no significant differences in Helicobacter pylori prevalence among mountain, rural, and urban areas.
The research team observed that the mean level of both serum pepsinogen and serum pepsinogen II was significantly increased in the seropositive subjects compared with the seronegative subjects.
When the cutoff values for adults were used, 4 of 14 subjects had serum pepsinogen ≤70 ng/mL and serum pepsinogen I/II ratio ≤3.
The researchers showed that low serum iron levels were significantly associated with Helicobacter pylori infection.
Dr Lin's team concludes, "The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection is as low as 3% among junior high school students aged 12-15 years in Japan."
"The disappearance of Helicobacter pylori is accelerating in Japanese children."