Background: Helicobacter pylori is an important carcinogenic factor in gastric cancer. Studies have shown that Helicobacter pylori infection is inversely associated with certain diseases such as esophageal cancer and whose infection appears to have a "protective effect." At present, the relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and esophageal cancer remains controversial. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and the risk of esophageal cancer in different regions and ethnicities.
Methods: Systematic search of the articles on the relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and esophageal cancer from the database with the duration time up to December 2018. This systematic review was performed under the MOOSE guidelines.
Results: This meta-analysis included 35 studies with 345,886 patients enrolled. There was no significant correlation between Helicobacter pylori infection and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in the general population (OR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.64-1.09/OR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.54-0.97). However, a significant correlation was found in the Middle East (OR: 0.34; 95% CI: 0.22-0.52/95% CI: 0.26-0.44). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori between the case group and the control group in esophageal adenocarcinoma (8.87% vs. 9.67%). The pooled OR was 0.55 (95% CI: 0.43-0.70) or 0.23 (95% CI: 0.15-0.36). When grouped by match or not, the pooled OR of the nonmatching group and the matching group was 0.48/0.21 (95% CI: 0.36-0.65/95% CI: 0.13-0.36) and 0.73/0.71 (95% CI: 0.57-0.92/95% CI: 0.60-0.84), respectively.
Conclusion: In the general populations, no significant association was found between Helicobacter pylori infection and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. However, lower risk was found in the Middle East. Helicobacter pylori infection may reduce the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but such "protection effect" may be overestimated.
Copyright © 2019 Huiqin Gao et al.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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