Relationship of Helicobacter pylori to serum pepsinogens in an asymptomatic Japanese population

Gastroenterology. 1992 Mar;102(3):760-6. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(92)90156-s.


A seroepidemiologic study of the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Japan was performed, and the relationship between serum pepsinogen I and II levels (markers of gastritis and gastric atrophy) and H. pylori infection was investigated. Four hundred and eighteen asymptomatic children and adults were studied. The prevalence of anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G antibody increased with age. For persons born after 1950, the frequency of H. pylori infection increased at approximately 1% per year; for those born before 1950 the prevalence was high (70%-80%) and relatively constant. Serum pepsinogen I and II levels were significantly higher in H. pylori-infected volunteers than in H. pylori-uninfected volunteers [51.6 +/- 3 vs. 42.9 +/- 2 ng/mL (P less than 0.05) for pepsinogen I; 16.0 +/- 1 vs. 7.5 +/- 0.8 ng/mL (P less than 0.001) for pepsinogen II]. The ratio of pepsinogen I to pepsinogen II was significantly lower in H. pylori-infected volunteers (3.5 +/- 0.2) than in uninfected volunteers (6.3 +/- 0.3; P less than 0.001). The apparent decrease in prevalence of H. pylori accompanying the Westernization of Japan may eventually be accompanied by a reduction in the frequency of atrophic gastritis, the precursor lesion of the epidemic form of gastric carcinoma, and ultimately result in a decrease in the incidence of gastric carcinoma in Japan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / diagnosis
  • Helicobacter Infections / blood*
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Japan
  • Middle Aged
  • Pepsinogens / blood*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Pepsinogens