Impact of H. pylori on growth: is the infection or mucosal disease related to growth impairment?

Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Oct;55(10):2878-86. doi: 10.1007/s10620-009-1091-y. Epub 2010 Jan 29.


Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has been recognized as one of the most common chronic bacterial infections in the world. Most children are colonized in early childhood, and the infection will last a lifetime unless the child is treated with appropriate antibiotics.

Aim: To evaluate whether H. pylori infection has an influence on growth and whether the severity of endoscopic findings relates to the growth impairment.

Methods: We formed four groups based on the presence or absence of H. pylori infection and gastrointestinal complaints as follows: group I: RAP +/H. pylori+; group II: RAP +/H. pylori-; group III: RAP -/H. pylori+; group IV: RAP -/H. pylori-. The relationship between endoscopic appearances, histological severity of gastritis, and antral H. pylori density with growth parameters was evaluated.

Results: The BMI standard derivation scores of groups I and II were significantly lower than those of asymptomatic controls independent of their H. pylori status. A significant difference in height for age standard derivation scores was observed only between groups I and IV. When we compared the BMI and height for age standard derivation scores of group III and group IV combined with that of the endoscopically normal children in the recurrent abdominal pain group, there was no significant difference between the two groups.

Conclusion: Recurrent abdominal pain associated with gastric mucosal injury plays a role in a decrease in BMI independent of H. pylori infection. However, if recurrent abdominal pain originates from H. pylori infection, it appears that linear growth is also affected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / microbiology
  • Abdominal Pain / pathology
  • Abdominal Pain / physiopathology
  • Adolescent
  • Anemia / microbiology
  • Anemia / physiopathology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Gastritis / microbiology*
  • Gastritis / pathology
  • Gastritis / physiopathology*
  • Growth Disorders / microbiology*
  • Growth Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Helicobacter Infections / physiopathology*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / microbiology
  • Malnutrition / physiopathology
  • Recurrence
  • Severity of Illness Index