Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Relation between Helicobacter pylori infection and gastrointestinal symptoms and syndromes
  1. S Rosenstocka,b,
  2. L Kayb,
  3. C Rosenstockb,
  4. L P Andersenc,
  5. O Bonnevied,
  6. T Jørgensena,b
  1. aDepartment of Surgery K, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, bGlostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark, cNational University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, dBispebjerg University Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Dr S Rosenstock, Department of Urology U, Frederiksberg Hospital, Nordre Fasanvej 57, 2000 F, Copenhagen, Denmark.


BackgroundHelicobacter pylori is a human pathogen that colonises the gastric mucosa and causes permanent gastric inflammation.

Aims—To assess the symptoms of H pylori infection in an adult unselected population.

Subjects—A random sample of 3589 adult Danes who were examined in 1982 and 1987 (n=2987).

Methods—Abdominal symptoms within the preceding year were recorded at both attendances. Circulating IgG antibodies against H pylori in serum samples drawn in 1982 were measured by using in-house indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).

Results—People with increased levels of IgG antibodies to H pylori were more likely than uninfected individuals to report heartburn (odds ratio (OR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.54) and abdominal pain characterised by daily length (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 0.92–1.91), nocturnal occurrence (OR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.19–2.19), spring aggravation (OR = 1.68, 95% CI 0.70–4.05), and no relation to meals (OR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.43–0.91) or stress (OR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.50–0.95). The inclusion of people with increased levels of IgG antibodies to H pylori, but without upper dyspepsia, at study entry significantly increased the likelihood of reporting upper dyspepsia at follow up (OR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.24–2.36). People with epigastric pain and increased levels of IgM antibodies to H pylori only indicative of acute H pylori infection were more likely to report nocturnal pain, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.

ConclusionsH pylori infection may precede the development of dyspepsia and is associated with a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms in people with no history of peptic ulcer disease.

  • epidemiology
  • Helicobacter pylori;non-ulcer dyspepsia
  • symptomatology
  • upper dyspepsia

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.