In this study, a researchers ascertained the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). They also assessed the association of H. pylori with GERD.
The team performed a systematic review of studies reporting the prevalence of H. pylori in patients with and without GERD.
Their results are published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal.
The researchers searched 4 electronic databases up to 2001. They also obtained data from experts, pharmaceutical companies, and journals.
|There was substantial heterogeneity between studies.|
|British Medical Journal|
The team's main outcome measure was odds ratios for prevalence of H. pylori in patients with GERD.
Overall, the team included 20 studies.
They determined that the pooled estimate of the odds ratio for prevalence of H. pylori was 0.60. This indicated a lower prevalence of H.pylori in patients with GERD.
The researchers identified substantial heterogeneity between studies.
They found geographical location to be an important factor. There was a lower prevalence of H. pylori in patients with GERD in studies from the Far East. This was despite a higher overall prevalence of infection than western Europe and North America.
Year of study was not identified as a source of heterogeneity.
Dr Anan Raghunath's team concluded, "The prevalence of H. pylori infection was significantly lower in patients with than without GERD".
"Geographical location…[was] a strong contributor to the heterogeneity between studies".
"Patients from the Far East with reflux disease had a lower prevalence of H. pylori infection…despite a higher prevalence in the general population".