Blood lead level and Helicobacter pylori infection in a healthy population: A cross-sectional study

Arch Environ Occup Health. 2020;75(6):333-338. doi: 10.1080/19338244.2019.1654969. Epub 2019 Aug 20.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether elevated blood lead level (BLL) is a risk factor for Helicobacter pylori infection. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed on 2,625 subjects who visited a university hospital for general health examination. H. pylori infection was detected using histologic examination with Giemsa staining, and BLLs were measured. The mean BLL was 2.83 ± 1.31 μg/dL. The prevalence of H. pylori infection was 27.8%. The BLL was significantly higher in the H. pylori infection-positive group compared to the non-infected group (2.96 ± 1.33 μg/dL vs. 2.78 ± 1.30 μg/dL, p < 0.001), which remained significant after adjusting for other confounders. H. pylori infection significantly increased as the BLL increased (OR: 1.143, 95% CI 1.068-1.223). We found a relationship between BLL elevation and H. pylori infection rate.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; Gastric cancer; heavy metal; lead.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Humans
  • Lead / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Lead