Five- to 7-year-old children with Helicobacter pylori infection are smaller than Helicobacter-negative children: a cross-sectional population-based study of 3,315 children

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2001 Oct;33(4):472-5. doi: 10.1097/00005176-200110000-00010.

Abstract

Objective: To test whether Helicobacter pylori-positive children are smaller and weigh less than H pylori-negative children.

Design: Cross-sectional population-based study.

Participants: In 3,315 5-to 7-year-old preschool and school children, the putative influence of H pylori infection on growth was investigated. Standing height and weight were analyzed in relation to H pylori infection. The diagnosis of H pylori infection was established by 13C-urea-breath test.

Results: The prevalence of H pylori infection in boys was 7.2% (95% confidence interval, 5.9-8.9; n = 1,550) and in girls was 6.1% (95% confidence interval, 4.9-7.3; n = 1,552) H pylori-positive children were smaller than noninfected children (117.6 +/- 5.5 cm vs. 118.9 +/- 5.7 cm; P < 0.01). Although H pylori-positive boys were 2.06 cm smaller than H pylori-negative boys (117.4 +/- 5.6 cm vs. 119.5 +/- 5.7 cm; P < 0.001), the difference in girls was not significant (117.9 +/- 5.3 cm vs. 118.4 +/- 5.7 cm). When standing height was adjusted for age, the found differences were more pronounced. Differences between the infected and noninfected children with regard to body weight were not significant (22.4 +/- 4.0 kg vs. 22.1 +/- 4.0 kg), nor was there a significant difference with regard to body-mass index. However, boys with H pylori infection had a lower weight than noninfected boys (21.6 +/- 3.3 kg vs. 22.6 +/- 4.0 kg; P < 0.01), but in girls, these differences were not observed (22.2 +/- 4.0 vs. 22.8 +/- 4.6 kg, respectively). When weight was adjusted for age, H pylori -positive children also had a lower weight than H pylori -negative children because of the lower weight of boys.

Conclusions: H pylori infection is associated with growth delay, growth retardation, or both in affected children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Breath Tests
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Growth
  • Growth Disorders / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Characteristics