Background:Helicobacter pylori gastritis may lead to impairment of the production of pepsinogen and acid, which are essential to cobalamin absorption. In turn, cobalamin deficiency leads to hyperhomocysteinaemia, a risk factor for cardio and cerebrovascular diseases.
Aim: To evaluate the effect of H pylori eradication on plasma homocysteine levels in elderly patients.
Patients: Sixty-two H pylori-positive elderly patients with cobalamin deficiency were prospectively studied.
Methods: Homocysteine and cobalamin concentrations were determined before, 6 and 12 months after H pylori eradication.
Results: Corpus atrophy was observed in a few patients; otherwise, in most of them, the degree of corpus gastritis was moderate to severe. The initial homocysteine mean (SD) levels decreased from 41.0 (27.1) to 21.6 (10.1) μmol/l at the 6 month follow-up (p<0.001) and to 13.1 (3.8) μmol/l 12 months after H pylori eradication (p<0.001). Conversely, initial cobalamin mean levels increased from 145.5 (48.7) pmol/l to 209.8 (87.1) pmol/l and to 271.2 (140.8) pmol/l, 6 and 12 months after treatment, respectively (p<0.001 for both). Although the erythrocyte mean corpuscular volume was within reference intervals, it decreased significantly 6 (p = 0.002) and 12 (p<0.001) months after treatment.
Conclusions: The results of the current study demonstrated that the eradication of H pylori in elderly patients with cobalamin deficiency is followed by increasing of cobalamin and decreasing of homocysteine blood levels.
- CFU, colony forming units
- MCV, mean corpuscular volume
- 13C-UBT, 13C-urea breath test
- DOB, delta over baseline
- helicobacter pylori
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Published Online First 27 September 2006
Supported by research grants from Fundação de Apoio a Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais–FAPEMIG and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico–CNPq/Brazil
Competing interests: None.
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