Researchers from Italy and the USA investigated the risk factors associated with Helicobacter pylori infection among children.
A total of 2810 children living in adjacent urban and rural areas of northern Sardinia, Italy, were studied.
The seroprevalence of H. pylori infection was 22% in the study population.
It was discovered that the prevalence was significantly higher among children in rural areas (37%) than in urban areas (13%) (odds ratio [OR], 3.8). This difference was consistent within each age group.
|H. pylori prevalence:|
Rural areas: 37%
Urban areas: 13%
| Clinical Infectious Diseases |
In rural areas, children who had dogs were at greatest risk for H. pylori infection (OR, 1.8).
However, no association was seen between H. pylori seropositivity and a history of breast-feeding.
The authors found that urban children attending day care centers had a higher prevalence of infection (17%) than did those who never attended (12%) (OR, 1.5).
Maria P. Dore, of the University of Sassari, Italy, concluded on behalf of her colleagues, "The epidemiology of H. pylori infection is complex.
"Even within the same geographic area, different factors influence acquisition of H. pylori infection."