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News

Migrants a target for prevention of H pylori-related complications

Migrant communities constitute a possible target population for primary prevention of H pylori-related complications, finds this month's Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.

News image

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Pre-selection of individuals with epidemiological risk factors for Helicobacter pylori infection and atrophic gastritis could increase the efficiency of serologic screening.

This could prevent peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer in Western countries.

The prevalence of H. pylori is high in migrant populations
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology

Dr Annemarie De Vries and colleagues from the Netherlands determined the prevalence of and risk factors for H. pylori infection and atrophic gastritis in a migrant community.

Inhabitants from an urban district in Rotterdam, The Netherlands with a large proportion of immigrants were randomly selected.

The team collected information on demographic factors, socio-economic status, lifestyle, history of dyspeptic symptoms and medication use.

In addition, serologic H. pylori and CagA status, and the presence of atrophic gastritis were evaluated.

The researchers evaluated a total of 288 subjects.

Surinamese or Antillean, Turkish, Cape Verdian and Moroccan subjects were H. pylori-infected in 65%, 82%, 86% and 96% of cases, respectively.

However, the infection rate in Dutch subjects was 46%.

Within multivariate logistic regression analysis, ethnicity and number of persons in a household were identified as independent risk factors for H. pylori infection.

The team found that mean pepsinogen I level and pepsinogen I/II ratio were significantly lower in subjects of non-Dutch origin as compared to Dutch subjects.

No Dutch subjects suffered from atrophic gastritis, as compared with 12 subjects of non-Dutch origin.

Dr De Vries' team concluded, "The prevalence of H. pylori is high in migrant populations in The Netherlands."

"Furthermore, markers of atrophic gastritis are increased in subjects of foreign origin."

"Therefore, these migrant communities may constitute a target group for serologic screening to prevent H. pylori-related complications in Western countries."

Scand J Gastroenterol 2008: 43(4): 403-9
09 April 2008

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