Helicobacter pylori infection: an added stressor on iron status of women in the community

Med J Aust. 1998 Aug 17;169(4):188-90. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1998.tb140218.x.


Objective: To explore a possible association between Helicobacter pylori infection and iron status.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Ballarat (a major regional city in Victoria), population 78000, October November 1997.

Participants: 160 women and 152 men, a subsample of participants in a cardiovascular disease risk factor prevalence survey for whom frozen plasma was available.

Main outcome measures: H. pylori IgG antibody status by enzyme immunoassay; iron intake; plasma iron, transferrin and ferritin concentrations.

Results: 28% of women and 33% of men were infected with H. pylori. The mean (SEM) plasma ferritin concentration of infected women (59.3 [7.6] microg/L) was significantly lower than for non-infected women (88.8 [7.9] microg/L; P=0.002), after adjusting for age. Mean daily dietary iron intakes were similar in infected and non-infected women.

Conclusions: H. pylori infection appears to be an additional stressor on women's iron status, but the mechanism remains to be determined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / etiology*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Causality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Gastritis / complications*
  • Gastritis / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter pylori* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Transferrin / metabolism
  • Victoria / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Iron, Dietary
  • Transferrin
  • Ferritins
  • Iron