H. Pylori and GERD: Is Less More?

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Does chronic Helicobacter pylori gastritis prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its sequelae? Yes, no, life should be so simple. A quick Medline search on the paired terms identified 527 citations since 1988 and that tells you something right there. Evidently, this is a complex relationship and attempting to reduce it to a yes/no answer is just not going to work. Perusing the literature, it becomes apparent that some combination of three component questions are in fact being asked: (i) Is it biologically plausible that H. pylori gastritis will reduce the occurrence of GERD? (ii) Is there an inverse epidemiological relationship between H. pylori infection and GERD? and (iii) Will the eradication of H. pylori unleash an epidemic of GERD? Each of these questions entails a unique set of consideration. We will consider each in turn.

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