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Risk factors for atrophic chronic gastritis in a European population: results of the Eurohepygast study
  1. The Eurohepygast Study Group
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr N Broutet, Unité d'Epidémiologie des Infections Digestives, Laboratoire de Bactériologie-BP 76, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 146, rue Léo Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex, France;


Background and aims: The development of atrophic chronic gastritis (ACG) is multifactorial, involving environment as well as host responses to Helicobacter pylori infection. The aim of this study was to determine factors involved in ACG in a European dyspeptic population.

Methods: Data concerning sociodemographics, social behaviour, biological aspects, diet, and virulence factors of H pylori strains were collected in a cross sectional study from 19 European centres in 14 countries. Dyspeptic H pylori positive patients with ACG or non-ACG (NACG) at histology were included. Anti-CagA antibodies were evaluated by two immunoblot tests and anti-VacA antibodies by one. Logistic regression models were constructed, and estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated from the coefficients.

Results: Of the 451 patients included in the study, 267 were analysed: 202 had NACG and 65 ACG. Mean age was 44.4 years and 63% were women. Risk factors for atrophy identified by multivariate analysis were: age over 60 years (OR 4.14, 95% CI 1.79–9.58), coffee consumption (OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.07–5.16), sedative consumption (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.04–4.52), and harbouring anti-CagA and anti-VacA antibodies simultaneously (OR 3.09, 95% CI 1.26–7.56), while the odds were significantly reduced for those with an anxiety score of 6 or more (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21–0.99).

Conclusion: The simultaneous presence of anti-CagA and anti-VacA antibodies enhanced the risk of ACG in European dyspeptic patients. Failure to discern diet and family history as risk factors for ACG may suggest that diet is homogeneous in Europe and that most of the risk factors for ACG identified so far are identical to risk factors for H pylori infection.

  • Helicobacter pylori
  • atrophic chronic gastritis
  • CagA antibodies
  • VacA antibodies
  • ACG, atrophic chronic gastritis
  • NACG, non-atrophic chronic gastritis
  • IM, intestinal metaplasia
  • ELISA, enzyme linked immunosorbant assay
  • EIA, enzyme immunoassay
  • BMI, body mass index
  • OR, odds ratio

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