Helicobacter pylori and Iron-deficiency Anemia in Adolescents in Brazil

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Abstract

Aim:

The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between Helicobacter pylori infection and iron deficiency (ID) in adolescents attending a public school.

Patients and Methods:

From March to June 2001, a cross-sectional study was conducted among adolescents (10–16 years) enrolled in a single public school in São Paulo, Brazil. Of 400 eligible students, 195 agreed to participate, but 1 was excluded due to sickle cell disease. A blood sample was collected from each subject to measure hemoglobin and ferritin. H pylori status was investigated with the 13C-urea breath test. All of the subjects with either anemia or ID were given iron therapy.

Results:

H pylori prevalence was 40.7% (79/194), being higher in male subjects (45/90 vs 34/104, P = 0.014). There was no relation between infection and nutritional status. Abnormally low serum ferritin was observed in 12 subjects, half of whom were positive for H pylori (odds ratio [OR] 1.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.38–5.81). The median serum ferritin was 33.6 ng/mL (interquartile range 23.9–50.9) in infected subjects and 35.1 ng/mL (interquartile range 23.7–53.9) in uninfected subjects. Anemia was detected in 2% (4/194) of the students, half of whom were infected (OR 1.47, 95% CI 0.1–20.6). The mean hemoglobin value in infected subjects was 13.83 g/dL ± 1.02 versus 14 g/dL ± 1.06 in uninfected subjects.

Conclusions:

The study was not able to find a relation between H pylori infection and ID or anemia.

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