Background: Helicobacter pylori infection is one of the most common human infections and is considered to play an etiologic role in several gastroduodenal diseases. In this study we determined the H. pylori seroprevalence among adolescents in Morelos, Mexico, and explored the association between seroprevalence and socioeconomic, dietary and lifestyle variables.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 5861 Mexican subjects aged 11-21 years. H. pylori infection was determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay previously validated in Mexico. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on sociodemographic factors, housing, living conditions and food consumption. Multivariate logistic regression methods were used to obtain odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.
Results: The overall H. pylori seroprevalence was 47.6%; 40.6% in preadolescents (11-14 years), 48.6% in adolescents (15-17 years), and 59.8% in young adults (18-24 years). A positive association was found between age and H. pylori seroprevalence. Inverse associations were found for availability of drinking water, sewerage, and home appliances at the time of the subject's birth, a proxy variable of socioeconomic status. Intake of milk products and total fats was positively associated with infection.
Conclusions: This large seroprevalence study showed that H. pylori infection is frequent among adolescents in Mexico. An early acquisition of infection is indirectly suggested. Some variables denoting low socioeconomic status were inversely associated with H. pylori seroprevalence. Associations with intake of milk products and total fats suggest new hypotheses in this field of research.