Association between Helicobacter pylori infection and adult height

Eur J Epidemiol. 2005;20(5):455-65. doi: 10.1007/s10654-004-6634-0.


Objectives: A cross-sectional survey was performed to evaluate the association between H. pylori and adult height.

Methods: H. pylori infection was assessed using a 13C-urea breath test and height measured by a research nurse using a stadiometer in participants between the ages of 40-49 years.

Results: Height was measured in 2932/3682 participants that attended and were evaluable. H. pylori infected women were 1.4 cm shorter than uninfected women (95% confidence interval, CI = 0.7-2.1 cm) and this statistically significant difference persisted after adjusting for age, ethnicity, childhood and present socio-economic status (H. pylori positives 0.79 cm shorter; 95%CI: 0.05-1.52 cm). H. pylori positive men were 0.7 cm shorter than uninfected men but this did not reach statistical significance (95% CI: -0.1-1.5 cm).

Conclusion: Although H. pylori infection is associated with reduced adult height in women, this maybe due to residual confounding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Height*
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / ethnology
  • Helicobacter Infections / physiopathology*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sample Size
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / ethnology