Recent studies have suggested that Helicobacter pylori could prevent allergic disease, particularly in children. However, whether this is true in adults is controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is negative association between H. pylori infection and asthma among adults in an area with a high prevalence of H. pylori.
This was a cross-sectional study using 2011 health surveillance data. Blood samples were taken from all participants to measure serum H. pylori IgG status. Information on demographics, socioeconomic status, and medical history, including asthma and other allergic conditions were collected by a questionnaire.
Of the 15,032 patients, 9492 (63.1%) had a history of H. pylori infection, 359 (2.4%) had asthma, and 3277 (21.8%) had other allergic conditions. H. pylori infection was positively correlated with age (OR, 1.050; 95% CI, 1.047–1.053, P < 0.001). Asthma history was positively correlated with age (OR, 1.022; 95% CI, 1.013–1.032, P < 0.001). H. pylori and age were shown to have interaction on asthma in the total participants (OR, 1.041; 95% CI, 1.021–1.062, P < 0.001). In subgroup analysis, H. pylori infection among those < 40 years old was inversely correlated with asthma (OR, 0.503; 95% CI, 0.280–0.904, P = 0.021). Other allergic conditions were not related with H. pylori infection among the total and those <40 years old.
The inverse association between H. pylori infection and asthma among young adults suggests that the underlying immune mechanism induced by H. pylori infection may affect allergic reactions associated with asthma in young adults.