Aim: Recent evidence suggests that Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with coronary heart disease. We investigated whether H. Pylori infection is related to prevalent coronary heart disease, in a random sample of 1428 men and women aged 25-74 years.
Methods and results: Coronary heart disease was assessed by questionnaire and electrocardiography (ECG). Standard risk factors for coronary heart disease, fibrinogen concentration and serum concentrations of H. pylori-specific IgG antibody were measured. H. pylori seropositivity increased with age (P < or = 0.001) and was significantly more prevalent in men than women. H. pylori infection was associated with current smoking and a higher systolic blood pressure in men but not in women. There was no significant increase in the odds ratio in those seropositive for H. pylori with regard to any manifestation of coronary heart disease, after adjustment for age, standard cardiovascular risk factors and social class. Likewise, age-adjusted plasma fibrinogen was no higher in seropositives.
Conclusion: Seropositivity to H. pylori is associated with a trend towards a greater prevalence of coronary heart disease. However, that association is likely to be spurious and can be adequately explained by the much stronger association of H. pylori infection with age and social class, both of which are linked with coronary heart disease.