Objectives: This study examined the relationship between housing conditions, educational level, occupational factors, and serologically diagnosed acute and chronic Helicobacter pylori infection.
Methods: Immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M serum antibodies against H. pylori were measured in 3589 Danish adults who participated in a population study.
Results: Low socioeconomic status (odds ratio [OR] = 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.7, 3.0), short duration of schooling (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.3, 2.5), lack of training/education (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2, 1.7]), unskilled work (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2, 2.5), and high work-related energy expenditure (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1, 1.9) increased the likelihood of chronic H. pylori infection. Infection was frequent in people who had lived abroad. Increased levels solely of immunoglobulin M antibodies were found more often in people who were divorced (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.2, 4.4) or unmarried (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.1, 3.8) or who worked long hours (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.1, 4.0).
Conclusions: Educational and occupational factors relate to the likelihood of chronic H. pylori infection in adults. The rate of acute infection is high in single individuals.