Background: Helicobacter pylori is recognized as one of the possible causes of gastric carcinoma. There have been few studies on the relationship between H. pylori and gastric carcinoma in patients younger than 40 years.
Methods: Data and sera were collected from the cases (105 hospitalized patients younger than 40 years with gastric carcinoma from 9 hospitals in the Kanto-Shin-Etsu Area in Japan) and controls (102 hospitalized control subjects and 101 screening control subjects) whose sex and age (within 4 years) were matched. The serum anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G antibody was measured, and the odds ratio (OR) for the association between seropositivity and gastric carcinoma was calculated.
Results: The OR (95% confidence interval) was 13.3 (5.3-35.6). For women, the OR was 32.8, whereas for men it was 6.8. The OR for patients with early gastric carcinoma was 20.8, and for patients with advanced disease, it was 10.8. The OR for intestinal-type carcinoma was 18.0, and for diffuse-type carcinoma, it was 12.8. The OR for proximal carcinoma was 11.3, and for distal carcinoma it was 14.8.
Conclusion: The OR for these young subjects was considerably larger than that for the older subjects in previously published studies. Among those younger than 40 years of age, early stage carcinoma has a stronger association with H. pylori than advanced carcinoma, and intestinal- and diffuse-type carcinomas have an association with H. pylori.