Helicobacter pylori causes chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa and has been identified in tracheobronchial secretions. Serum IgG against H. pylori was therefore measured prospectively in consecutive subjects with bronchiectasis (n = 100; mean age +/- SD 55.1 +/- 16.7 yr), active pulmonary tuberculosis (n = 87; age, 57.3 +/- 19.1 yr), and healthy volunteers (n = 94; age, 54.6 +/- 7.6 yr). Seropositivity was found in 76.0% of bronchiectatic subjects, which was significantly higher than that of the control (54.3%, p = 0.001) and tuberculous (52.9%, p = 0.0001) groups. Multiple logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex, occupational social class, and number of persons living in the household, showed that H. pylori IgG levels of the bronchiectatic group were still significantly higher than that of the control (p = 0.0014) and tuberculous (p = 0.0154) groups. Multiple regression analysis revealed associations between H. pylori serology and sputum volume (p = 0.03) and age (p = 0.001) in the bronchiectatic patients, but not lung function indices or causes of bronchiectasis. The H. pylori seroprevalence in bronchiectasis was significantly (p = 0.0002) higher in patients who produced more (83.1%) than those who produced less than 5 ml sputum/24 h (58.6%). This is the first report of a high H. pylori seroprevalence in bronchiectasis which appears to be specific. Further studies are indicated to evaluate the possible pathogenic role of H. pylori in bronchiectasis.