Helicobacter pylori infection detected by 14C-Urea breath test is associated with iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women

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To determine whether there is a relationship between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, iron deficiency anemia and thrombocytopenia in pregnant women.


Hemoglobin and ferritin levels and platelet counts of pregnant women were measured during the third trimester. H. pylori infection was determined using a 14C-urea breath test (14C-UBT) after delivery. Statistical analyses were determined with a Mann–Whitney U-test and the χ2 test. Statistical significance was determined with a P-value less than .05.


Seventy-two of 117 women had positive results on the 14C-UBT. Overall, 27 of 117 pregnant women had anemia (23.1%), and all them were in the H. pylori-positive group; 18 of 27 (66.7%) had iron deficiency anemia. Median hemoglobin levels and neonatal body weights were 12.0 g/dL vs 12.0 g/dL and 3320.0 grams vs 3520.0 grams in the H. pylori-positive and negative groups, respectively. Serum hemoglobin and ferritin levels and neonatal body weight were found to be lower in the anemic group compared with the non-anemic group among H. pylori-infected women (P = 0.0001, P = 0.02, P = 0.008, respectively). There were no statistically significant differences with regard to gestational thrombocytopenia between the H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative groups (P = 0.532).


Our study indicates that there is a strong relationship between H. pylori infection and iron deficiency anemia in women with uncomplicated pregnancy. However, an association between H. pylori infection and thrombocytopenia was not found.

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