Background: Helicobacter pylori-associated disease has led to aggressive diagnostic and eradication protocols that are partially responsible for the decrease in prevalence of H. pylori carriage. Recent evidence indicates that in low-prevalence populations, H. pylori may have protective effects on allergic diseases. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between pediatric asthma and H. pylori infection in a population with high prevalence of H. pylori infection. Materials and Methods: A national referral laboratory was screened for all 13C urea breath tests performed in children aged 5-18years between 2007 and 2008, for patient demographics and physician-diagnosed asthma. Data concerning asthma-associated medication usage were extracted from electronic medical records and databases. Data were analyzed using a stepwise logistic regression model. Results: During the study period, 6959 patients underwent urea breath testing (average age 12.4+3.5years). Of these, 3175/6959 (45.6%) were positive for H. pylori, and 578/6959 (8.3%) had asthma. Rates of asthma in H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative children were 7.3 and 9.1%, respectively (odds ratio 0.82; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.69-0.98; p=.032). We also confirmed that male gender, urban residence, and age are associated with childhood asthma. Conclusions: We demonstrate an inverse association between H. pylori and pediatric asthma in a population with a high prevalence of H. pylori. 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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