Low prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection among patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;35(4):469-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04969.x. Epub 2012 Jan 5.


Background: There is some preliminary evidence to suggest that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are less frequently infected with Helicobacter pylori than the general population.

Aim: To examine whether the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is lower among IBD patients compared with non-IBD individuals based on results from surgical pathology.

Methods: From a database of surgical pathology reports, we recruited a sample of unique patients who underwent a same-day bidirectional gastrointestinal endoscopy with biopsies. Of the total 65,515 patients, 1061 served as cases with IBD and 64,451 as controls without IBD. The histological presence of H. pylori was correlated with the patients' demographic characteristics and histological presence of any oesophageal disease, Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC) and indeterminate colitis (IND). Results were expressed as odds ratios (OR), using multivariate logistic regression to adjust for the cofounding influence of comorbidities and demographic characteristics.

Results: The presence of H. pylori was inversely associated with IBD, the adjusted OR and their 95% confidence intervals being 0.48 (0.27-0.79) for CD, 0.59 (0.39-0.84) for UC and 0.43 (0.15-0.95) for IND. In contradistinction, H. pylori-negative gastritis was positively associated with IBD, the adjusted OR being 11.06 (7.98-15.02) for CD, 2.25 (1.31-3.60) for UC and 6.91 (3.50-12.30) for IND.

Conclusions: Our study confirms an inverse association between H. pylori and IBD and a positive association between the H. pylori-negative gastritis and IBD. These relationships may open new avenues to study the pathogenesis of IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis