Helicobacter pylori Infection and Associated Risk Factors in Patients with Upper Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Background: H. pylori infection is the most common chronic bacterial infection in the world which can result in various gastrointestinal diseases, ranging from inflammation to even malignancy. Its prevalence is higher in developing countries, especially in lower socioeconomic groups. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of H. pylori infection in symptomatic patients and its relationship with various risk factors specially smoking, alcohol and socioeconomic status. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was done in symptomatic patients undergoing gastroduodenoscopy, to assess the prevalence of H. pylori and its associated risk factors in a tertiary care hospital of South Delhi. The gold standard diagnosis of H. pylori infection was histologic presence of the bacteria in the gastric biopsy. The variables analyzed as possible risk factors included demographic and living characteristics, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol, and clinical indications of H. pylori infection. Results: A total of 70 patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms were included in the study. On histopathology, 51were found positive for H. pylori infection with a prevalence of 72.86%. No statistically significant difference was found between the H. pylori infection and socioeconomic status. H. pylori infection was found to be statistically significant for subjects who consumed alcohol (93.3%, p=0.046). They had 6.67 times risk of developing H. pylori infection compared to non-alcoholics. There was no significant association of H. pylori infection among the smokers and the non-smokers. Conclusions: There was no significant relationship between smoking, tobacco consumption, socioeconomic status and H. pylori infection. However, alcohol consumption (93.3%, p=0.046) and non-vegetarian diet (80%, p=0.01236) showed a higher significant association with active infection.
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