Dr Reikei Matsuda and Toshio Morizane previously reported no significant differences between dentists and controls in the seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori.
The aim of the present study was to determine the risk and the risk factors for new infection of H pylori.
This is the first report assessing the seroprevalence of H pylori infection over a 6-year period in a cohort of dental professionals.
The research team collected blood samples from employees of Kanagawa Dental College to test for serum anti-H pylori immunoglobulins.
| The risk of new infection of H pylori for dental professionals is 1% per year|
The team collected 566 samples in 1997 and another 551 samples in 2003.
Questionnaires completed by participants provided information about risk factors of H pylori infection.
The researchers tested a total of 236 employees on both occasions.
Of the 170 who were seronegative in 1997, the team randomly selected 59 from among the dental professionals including dentists and dental nurses.
The researchers selected 59 controls from among the nonclinical staff who were matched for sex and age.
The team found that the risk of new infection of H pylori for dental professionals is 1% per year and the relative risk is 4.
The researchers also determined the risk factors for acquiring H pylori using logistic regression.
The team noted that the adjusted odds ratio for being a dental professionals was 3, having upper gastrointestinal family history was 5, and age over 40 was 9.
Dr Matsuda's team concluded, “This 6-year prospective study shows that dental professionals are at greater risk of being infected by H pylori than are controls.”