Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori in southern China: identification of early childhood as the critical period for acquisition

J Infect Dis. 1992 Jul;166(1):149-53. doi: 10.1093/infdis/166.1.149.


A large cross-sectional study to investigate the prevalence and possible modes of transmission of Helicobacter pylori was done in southern China. Serum samples (1727) were collected from Guangzhou city and three rural areas of Guangdong Province, and the prevalence of H. pylori infection was determined using an ELISA. Each subject completed a questionnaire. The overall prevalence of H. pylori infection was 44.2%; a significantly higher prevalence was found in Guangzhou (52.4%) than in the rural areas (38.6%). This difference was generally reflected in the group 0-5 years old, but the rate of increase in seroprevalence for H. pylori over 5 years of age was similar (1%/year). This study provides important new data on the acquisition of H. pylori, particularly in the early years of life, and shows that density of living conditions is a prime determinant in the acquisition of H. pylori.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / transmission
  • Helicobacter pylori / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Water Supply


  • Antibodies, Bacterial