Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a known pathogen implicated in genesis of gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric carcinoma and gastric lymphoma. Beyond the stomach, the organism has also been implicated in the causation of immune thrombocytopenia and iron deficiency anemia. Although an area of active clinical research, the role of this gram negative organism in causation of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD) remains enigmatic. CAD is a multifactorial disease which results from the atherosclerosis involving coronary arteries. The major risk factors include age, diabetes mellitus, smoking, hypertension and dyslipidemia. The risk of CAD is believed to increase with chronic inflammation. Various organisms like Chlamydia and Helicobacter have been suspected to have a role in genesis of atherosclerosis via causation of chronic inflammation. This paper focuses on available evidence to ascertain if the role of H. pylori in CAD causation has been proven beyond doubt and if eradication may reduce the risk of CAD or improve outcomes in these patients.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Coronary artery disease; Extra gastric; Helicobacter pylori; Inflammation.