Background: We tested whether Helicobacter pylori-infected dyspeptic mothers had a higher rate of H. pylori infection in their children, and whether such H. pylori-infected children were predisposed to iron deficiency or growth retardation.
Materials and methods: A total of 163 children from 106 dyspeptic mothers (58 with and 48 without H. pylori infection) were enrolled to evaluate body weight, height, hemoglobin, serum ferritin, and H. pylori infection using the 13C-urea breath test. A questionnaire was used to evaluate demographic factors of each child.
Results: The rate of H. pylori infection in children with H. pylori-infected dyspeptic mothers was higher than that of children with noninfected mothers (20.5% vs. 5.3%; p<.01, OR: 4.6, 95% CI: 1.5-14.2). The rate of H. pylori infection in children elevated as the number of their H. pylori-infected siblings increased (p<.01). For children below 10 years of age, H. pylori infection was closely related to low serum ferritin and body weight growth (p<.05).
Conclusion: The children of H. pylori-infected dyspeptic mothers had an increased risk for such infection. The risk further increased once their siblings were infected. H. pylori infection in pre-adolescent children may determine iron deficiency and growth retardation.