Lack of correlation between self-reported symptoms of dyspepsia and infection with Helicobacter pylori, in a general population sample

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate any correlation between infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and overall symptoms of dyspepsia, in a general population sample.

Design

Analysis of test results and questionnaire replies from a population screening study involving subjects registered at a single general practice in Market Harborough, UK.

Methods

H. pylori status was established using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and frequent dyspepsia was assessed using a previously validated self-completion symptom questionnaire.

Results

Complete results for dyspepsia and H. pylori status were obtained and analysed for 1524 men and women aged 21 –55 years at the start of the study. In those who attended for screening, the prevalence of dyspepsia was 39%, with a 15% prevalence of infection with H. pylori. No significant correlation was found between H. pylori status and frequent dyspepsia, upper abdominal pain or reflux-like symptoms. Adjustment for age, gender, smoking and alcohol consumption did not alter these findings.

Conclusion

The analysis suggested that H. pylori infection does not play an important role in overall symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia in the community, nor is it important in protecting against acid reflux in patients without duodenal ulcer.

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