Background: Studies of lifestyle factors related to gastric atrophy development in Helicobacter pylori-infected individuals are limited. The present cross-sectional study aimed to examine the associations between lifestyle factors and serum pepsinogens (PGs) among anti- H. pylori antibody-seropositive Japanese in Brazil, where gastric cancer mortality was reported to be as high as in Japanese in Japan, and seropositive individuals were still frequently detected.
Methods: The subjects were 291 seropositive individuals (129 males and 162 females; age, 30 to 69 years) out of 656 Japanese-Brazilian volunteers in São Paulo city. Information on lifestyle factors was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire. Atrophic gastritis was defined as a PG1 serum level less than 70 ng/ml and PG1/PG2 ratio less than 3.
Results: The prevalence of atrophic gastritis was 31.9% (95% confidence intervals, 26.6%-37.6%). The proportion of subjects with atrophic gastritis increased with age, but there were no significantly marked differences in the proportions of subjects with atrophic gastritis among the three generations studied (first generation [Issei], second generation [Nisei], and third generation [Sansei]) for any 10-year age group. The associations with smoking and alcohol drinking were not significant. Length of education was inversely associated with gastric atrophy, while infrequent rice intake was preventive; the odds ratio relative to everyday rice intake was 0.13 (95% confidence intervals, 0.39-0.46) on multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that frequent rice intake was a risk factor for atrophic gastritis among the H. pylori-infected Japanese-Brazilians, suggesting that diet including rice plays a role in the step from H. pylori infection to gastric atrophy.