Helicobacter pylori infection among offspring of patients with stomach cancer

Gastroenterology. 2000 Jan;118(1):31-5. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(00)70411-2.


Background & aims: A positive family history is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. We compared the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection, a known risk factor for stomach cancer, between subjects with and without parental history of stomach cancer to evaluate a potential role of H. pylori infection in familial aggregation of stomach cancer.

Methods: A total of 1351 men and women aged 30-74 years who participated in the German Health and Nutrition Survey conducted in the western part of Germany in 1987-1988 were included in the study. Detailed information on sociodemographic factors, nutritional factors, and parental history of cancer was obtained by standardized interviews. Serum samples were analyzed for immunoglobulin G antibodies against H. pylori by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: The prevalence of H. pylori infection was much higher (69%) among subjects with a parental history of stomach cancer than among other subjects (44%). This association persisted after control for potential confounders by multiple logistic regression (adjusted odds ratio, 2.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-5.9), and was particularly strong among subjects below age 55 (adjusted odds ratio, 5.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.6-16.1).

Conclusions: These results suggest that familial aggregation of stomach cancer may be explained at least partly by familial clustering of H. pylori infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gastritis / microbiology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Helicobacter Infections / transmission*
  • Helicobacter pylori* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / microbiology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G