Background: Evidence is conflicting regarding the association between Helicobacter pylori infection and diabetes mellitus. The study objective was to examine associations of H. pylori infection, gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers, with diabetes mellitus.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was undertaken using coded data from the computerized database of Maccabi Health Services in Israel, on 147,936 individuals aged 25-95 years who underwent the urea breath test during 2002-2012. Multiple logistic regression models were conducted, while adjusting for known risk factors for diabetes mellitus.
Results: A H. pylori positive test was recorded for 76,992 (52.0%) individuals and diabetes for 12,207 (8.3%). The prevalence of diabetes was similar in individuals with and without H. pylori infection, but this association was modified (P for heterogeneity 0.049) by body mass index (BMI): adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.16 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.04-1.29) in persons with BMI<25 kg/m2 versus aOR 1.03 (95% CI 0.98-1.08) in persons with BMI≥25 kg/m2. Diabetes mellitus prevalence was higher in persons with gastric (aOR 1.20 (95% CI 1.06-1.34)) and duodenal ulcers (aOR 1.20 (95% CI 1.12-1.28)) compared to persons without these diagnoses.
Conclusions: In this large population-based study, we demonstrated significant positive associations, albeit of small magnitude, of H. pylori infection and peptic disease with diabetes. The long-term gastric inflammation and associated-damage to the gastric mucosa might play a role in such associations.