Seroprevalence and Determinants of Helicobacter pylori Infection in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Mar 2;S1542-3565(21)00221-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2021.02.042. Online ahead of print.


Background & aims: Helicobacter pylori infection is the primary known risk factor for gastric cancer. Despite the global decline in H. pylori prevalence, this infection remains a major public health concern in developing areas, including Latin America. Our study aimed to determine H. pylori seroprevalence and identified its determinants among Hispanics/Latinos living in the United States (U.S.).

Methods: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a population-based sample of self-identified Hispanics/Latinos (n = 16,144) in four U.S. communities, aged 18 to 74 years, recruited from randomly selected households using a stratified two-stage area probability sample design based on sampling households within sampled census block groups weighted for differential response rates. Anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G antibodies were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using plasma samples. We calculated adjusted seroprevalence (i.e., predicted margins) from multivariable logistic regression models.

Results: The overall weighted H. pylori seroprevalence was 57% among HCHS/SOL participants, with 38% and 62% seropositivity among U.S.-born and non-U.S.-born individuals, respectively. Age-adjusted prevalence varied by self-reported Hispanic/Latino background, ranging from 47% in Puerto Rican to 72% in Central American backgrounds. Adjusted H. pylori seroprevalence was higher in the following groups: older age, male sex, lower education, non-U.S. born status, smoking, greater number of missing teeth, fewer doctor visits, lower ferritin level, and hepatitis A seropositivity.

Conclusions: H. pylori seroprevalence in Hispanics/Latinos remains high and differed significantly by Hispanic/Latino background. H. pylori seropositivity is strongly associated with poor socioeconomic conditions. These findings highlight the ongoing importance of this bacterial infection in the U.S.

Keywords: Determinants; HCHS/SOL; Helicobacter pylori; Hispanics/Latinos; Seroprevalence.