Iron deficiency anaemia and Helicobacter pylori infection

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2000 Dec;16(4):515-9. doi: 10.1016/s0924-8579(00)00288-0.


Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is the most common form of anaemia world-wide. IDA is the simple result of an imbalance between iron loss and absorption. Gastric function with hydrochloric and ascorbic acid is essential for iron absorption. Some strains of Helicobacter pylori are able to acquire iron, competing with the host. A large percentage of patients with atrophic body gastritis (ABG) develop IDA and 61% of them are H. pylori positive. Recent evidence suggests that H. pylori infection could cause IDA in the absence of peptic ulcer or other upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding lesions. Gastritis extending to the corpus and a high bacterial load are features of these patients. About 70% of IDA patients with ABG or H. pylori gastritis are premenopausal women. Both ABG and H. pylori gastritis should be considered when evaluating the GI tract of patients with iron deficiency anaemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / etiology*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / metabolism
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / complications*
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / metabolism
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*


  • Iron