Background: It has been suggested that the incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) increases after successful eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection. We present data on development of GERD from a controlled study of H. pylori eradication in 165 duodenal ulcer patients.
Methods: Patients (mean age, 55 years; 102 men; current smokers; n = 74) were randomly assigned 2: 1 to receive omeprazole, 40 mg twice daily, in combination with either amoxicillin, 750 mg twice daily, or placebo. Endoscopy and dyspeptic symptoms, including heartburn, were assessed at inclusion and at 6, 12, and 24 months after treatment. In addition, symptoms were assessed at 18 months. Patients with erosive esophagitis or reflux symptoms requiring treatment at inclusion were not included in the study.
Results: Fifty-one of 145 (35%) evaluable patients developed heartburn, and 13 of 145 (9%) developed esophagitis during follow-up. The life-table analysis of the cumulated risk of developing heartburn showed that patients whose H. pylori infection was eradicated had a significantly lower risk for developing heartburn than those with persistent H. pylori infection. The groups did not show any difference in cumulative risk of developing esophagitis.
Conclusion: Our data show that successful eradication of H. pylori infection does not increase the incidence of GERD in duodenal ulcer patients.