A team from Bristol, England, assessed the effects of Helicobacter pylori infection on blood pressure.
A total of 10,537 individuals from the Bristol region were enrolled in the study.
1634 (15.5%) were found to be positive for H. pylori infection on a 13C- urea breath test.
|Increased blood pressure in subjects with H. pylori not important.|
|British Medical Journal|
Blood pressure was measured with a random-zero sphygmomanometer. In addition, participants completed a questionnaire on demographic and lifestyle characteristics, and their height and weight were measured.
Blood pressure in 1633 individuals with Helicobacter infection was compared with twice that number (3267) of randomly selected non-infected subjects.
Systolic blood pressure was found to be significantly higher in subjects with Helicobacter infection before adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, and high alcohol intake. However this was significantly lower after adjustments.
No difference was found for diastolic blood pressure.
Further analysis, after the exclusion of 310 subjects who were taking treatment for previously known hypertension, did not change these results significantly.
In multivariable analysis, older age (4.33 mm Hg/decade), sex (4.1 mm Hg higher in men than in women), increasing body mass index (0.74 mm Hg per unit), and high alcohol intake (2.64 mm Hg), were all associated with a significantly increased systolic blood pressure.
Conversely, current use of drugs for hypertension -10.48 mm Hgwas associated with a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure. Similar associations were found for diastolic blood pressure.
Dr Richard Harvey, of Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, said on behalf of his colleagues, "Our findings indicate that, contrary to some previous suggestions, the association that exists between cardiovascular disease and H. pylori infection is not accounted for by any increase in blood pressure."
"Mean systolic blood pressure was higher in H. pylori-infected individuals than in those who were not infected.
"Although this is significant statistically, it is unlikely to be clinically important and may be explained by unknown residual confounding factors," he concluded.