Researchers from the University of Bristol and Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, England, investigated the relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and atopic disorders.
They presented their research at the Annual Meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterology, held this week in Birmingham, England.
The prevalence of atopic disorders, including asthma, has increased dramatically over the last 20 years.
The team investigated whether H. pylori infection is associated with a decreased prevalence of atopy (asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema).
A total of 26,203 individuals, aged 20-59 years, were invited to participate in a randomized, controlled trial of H. pylori eradication.
Of these, 10,537 agreed to participate and underwent a 13C-urea breath test.
|10,500 individuals were included in the study.
Some 3244 individuals (2165 H. pylori-negative, 1079 H. pylori-positive) supplied medication details on a validated questionnaire.
Inhaled/oral bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids, or cromoglicate therapy were used as surrogate markers for asthma.
Similarly, oral antihistamines and topical corticosteroids were used as markers for allergic rhinitis and eczema, respectively.
The researchers found that individuals found to be H. pylori-positive were less likely to be taking a medication for asthma, eczema, or allergic rhinitis (crude OR 0.70 and adjusted OR 0.75).
Dr C. A. McCune and colleagues concluded that childhood infection with Helicobacter pylori is associated with a reduced risk of atopic disorders in adult life.