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, 10 (1), e0116874
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Interaction Between Helicobacter Pylori and Latent Toxoplasmosis and Demographic Variables on Cognitive Function in Young to Middle-Aged Adults

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Interaction Between Helicobacter Pylori and Latent Toxoplasmosis and Demographic Variables on Cognitive Function in Young to Middle-Aged Adults

Shawn D Gale et al. PLoS One.

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori and latent toxoplasmosis are widespread diseases that have been associated with cognitive deficits and Alzheimer's disease. We sought to determine whether interactions between Helicobacter pylori and latent toxoplasmosis, age, race-ethnicity, educational attainment, economic status, and general health predict cognitive function in young and middle-aged adults. To do so, we used multivariable regression and multivariate models to analyze data obtained from the United States' National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can be weighted to represent the US population. In this sample, we found that 31.6 percent of women and 36.2 percent of men of the overall sample had IgG Antibodies against Helicobacter pylori, although the seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori varied with sociodemographic variables. There were no main effects for Helicobacter pylori or latent toxoplasmosis for any of the cognitive measures in models adjusting for age, sex, race-ethnicity, educational attainment, economic standing, and self-rated health predicting cognitive function. However, interactions between Helicobacter pylori and race-ethnicity, educational attainment, latent toxoplasmosis in the fully adjusted models predicted cognitive function. People seropositive for both Helicobacter pylori and latent toxoplasmosis - both of which appear to be common in the general population - appear to be more susceptible to cognitive deficits than are people seropositive for either Helicobacter pylori and or latent toxoplasmosis alone, suggesting a synergistic effect between these two infectious diseases on cognition in young to middle-aged adults.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Model-based Predictions of the Symbol Digit Substitution Test Illustrating the Interaction of Latent Toxoplasmosis and Race-ethnicity with H. pylori and CagA.
Panel A presents model-based predictions (Table 4, Model 1) of the interaction of latent toxoplasmosis with H. pylori and CagA on the Symbol Digit Substitution Test (SDS) controlling for age, gender, race-ethnicity, PIR, education, health, and hemoglobin. Higher SDS values indicate poorer cognitive function. Panel B presents model-based predictions (Table 4, Model 3) of the interaction of race-ethnicity with H. pylori and CagA on the Symbol Digit Substitution Test (SDS) controlling for latent toxoplasmosis, age, gender, PIR, education, health, and hemoglobin. Higher SDS values indicate poorer cognitive function.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Model-based Prediction of the Symbol Digit Substitution Test Illustrating the Interaction of Age and Education with H. pylori and CagA.
Panel A presents model-based predictions (Table 4, Model 2) of the interaction of age with H. pylori and CagA on the Symbol Digit Substitution Test (SDS) controlling for latent toxoplasmosis, gender, race-ethnicity, PIR, education, health, and hemoglobin. Higher SDS values indicate poorer cognitive function. Panel B presents model-based predictions (Table 4, Model 4) of the interaction of education with H. pylori and CagA on the Symbol Digit Substitution Test (SDS) controlling for latent toxoplasmosis, age, gender, race-ethnicity, PIR, health, and hemoglobin. Higher SDS values indicate poorer cognitive function.
Figure 3
Figure 3. Model-based Prediction of the Serial Digit Learning Test Illustrating the Interaction of Gender and Race-Ethnicity with H. pylori and CagA.
Panel A presents model-based predictions (Table 5, Model 1) of the interaction of gender with H. pylori and CagA on the Serial Digit Learning Test (SDL) controlling for latent toxoplasmosis, age, race-ethnicity, PIR, education, health, and hemoglobin. Higher values indicate poorer cognitive function on SDL. Panel B presents model-based predictions (Table 5, Model 2) of the interaction of race-ethnicity with H. pylori and CagA on the Serial Digit Learning Test (SDL) controlling for latent toxoplasmosis, age, gender, PIR, education, health, and hemoglobin. Higher values indicate poorer cognitive function on SDL.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Model-based Prediction of the Simple Reaction Time Test Illustrating the Interaction of Highest Grade Achieved with H. pylori and CagA.
Data are model-based predictions of the interaction of education with H. pylori and CagA on the Simple Reaction Time Test (SRT) controlling for latent toxoplasmosis, age, gender, race-ethnicity, PIR, health, and hemoglobin. Higher SRT values indicate poorer cognitive function.

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The authors received no specific funding for this work.
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