Objective: The objective of this observational study was to estimate the prevalence of advanced atrophic corpus gastritis (ACG) among Finnish adult volunteers without specific complaints using a biomarker blood test. The objective also was to assess the feasibility and acceptance of the biomarker test among the volunteers.
Materials and methods: GastroView biomarker test (Biohit Oyj, Helsinki, Finland) was performed on mostly fingerprick blood samples from 4,256 volunteers (average age 56 years, range 18-92 years), independent of symptoms. GastroView biomarker test was offered to citizens at public events during 2007-2009. The test consisted of the measurement of pepsinogen I and II levels (and ratio) and H. pylori IgG antibody level in plasma by ELISA.
Results: Altogether 3.5% (150 individuals) of all 4,256 volunteers had ACG. In the age group of 70 or over, the prevalence of ACG increased to 8% (62 individuals). Altogether 19% (819 individuals) of all volunteers and 37% (56 individuals) of those with ACG had an ongoing H. pylori infection. In volunteers with ACG, the diagnosis was new in 95% (142 individuals), 5% (7 individuals) had received vitamin B12 supplementation and 13% (20 individuals) had received PPI medication according to a self-administered questionnaire; and 26% (39 individuals) reported gastrointestinal reflux like symptoms.
Conclusions: This study shows that advanced ACG is a common disease among Finnish adults, and remains to be undiagnosed in most under the current healthcare practice. The biomarker test shows high feasibility and acceptance among the general public, and is simple to perform even in "field" conditions.