Several studies suggested an association between Helicobacter pylori infection and colorectal carcinoma or adenoma risk.
However, different authors reported quite varying estimates.
Dr Dietrich Rothenbacher and colleagues from Switzerland carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating this association.
The investigators paid special attention to the possibility of publication bias and sources of heterogeneity between studies.
An extensive literature search and cross-referencing were performed to identify all published studies.
|The odds ratio between the association H pylori and colorectal cancer risk was 1.4|
The team obtained summary estimates using random-effects models.
The presence of possible publication bias was assessed using different statistical approaches.
The team conducted a meta-analysis of 11 identified human studies, published between 1991 and 2002.
A summary odds ratio of 1.4 was estimated for the association between H pylori infection and colorectal cancer risk.
The graphical funnel plot appeared asymmetrical, but the formal statistical evaluations did not provide strong evidence of publication bias.
The investigators noted that the proportion of variation of study results because of heterogeneity was small.
Dr Rothenbacher's team concluded, “The results of our meta-analysis are consistent with a possible small increase in risk of colorectal cancer because of H pylori infection.”
“However, the possibility of some publication bias cannot be ruled out, although it could not be statistically confirmed.”
“Larger, better designed and better controlled studies are needed to clarify the situation.”