Objective: The association between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and diabetes mellitus is controversial. We aimed to determine the prevalence of H. pylori infection in patients with diabetes and nondiabetic controls, and assess whether H. pylori infection was associated with upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in diabetes mellitus.
Methods: A total of 429 patients with type 1 (n = 49) or type 2 (n = 380) diabetes mellitus (48.6% women, mean age 60.7 yr) and 170 nondiabetic controls (34.7% women, mean age 60.4 yr) were evaluated. All subjects completed a validated questionnaire (the Diabetes Bowel Symptom Questionnaire) to determine upper GI symptoms, and a blood sample was tested for H. pylori infection using a validated ELISA kit (sensitivity 96%, specificity 94%).
Results: Seroprevalence of H. pylori was 33% and 32%, respectively, in patients with diabetes and controls (NS). In both groups, the seroprevalence was significantly higher in men than in women; 39% vs 25% (p = 0.002) in diabetic patients, and 40% vs 20% (p = 0.01) in controls. Patients with diabetes had a significantly higher prevalence of early satiety (OR = 2.30), fullness (OR = 3.15), and bloating (OR = 1.50) compared with controls. Upper GI symptoms were present in 49% of H. pylori-positive and 53% of H. pylori-negative patients with diabetes (OR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.58-1.31, p = 0.56). H. pylori infection was also not associated with any of the individual upper GI symptoms before or after adjustment for potential confounding factors. However, patient age and female gender were identified as independent risk factors for upper GI symptoms. Smoking was a risk factor for bloating and early satiety.
Conclusions: H. pylori infection appears not to be associated with diabetes mellitus or upper GI symptoms in diabetes mellitus.