To compare the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) IgG and IgA antibodies between adult subjects, with defined gastric diseases, non-defined gastric disorders and those representing the population.
Data on H pylori IgG and IgA antibodies, determined by enzyme immunoassay, were analyzed in 3,252 subjects with DGD including 482 patients with gastric ulcer, 882 patients with duodenal ulcer, 1,525 patients with chronic gastritis only and 363 subjects with subsequent gastric cancer, 19,145 patients with NoDg and 4,854 POPUL subjects. The age-adjusted prevalences were calculated for 1- and 20-year age cohorts.
The prevalences of IgG antibodies were equally high (89-96%) in all 20-year age cohorts of the DGD groups, whereas the prevalences of IgG antibodies were lower and increased by age in the POPUL and NoDg groups. The prevalences of IgA antibodies were also higher in the DGD groups; among them CA (84-89%) and GU groups (78-91%) showed significantly higher prevalences than DU (68-77%) and CG patients (59-74%) (OR 2.49, 95%CI 1.86-3.34 between the GU and DU groups). In the CA, GU, and DU groups, the IgA prevalences showed only minor variation according to age, while they increased by age in the CG, POPUL, and NoDg groups (P
To accelerate the decline of Helicobacter pylori infection, and to study the significance of the possible risk factors for H. pylori infection in Finland, we started a voluntary H. pylori"screen-treat-retest-and-retreat" program for all young adults at primary health care in Vammala, Finland after a pilot study in 1994 including 504 subjects aged 15-75.
A total of 3326 aged 15-40 in 1996, and 716 aged 15 and 584 aged 45 in 1997-2000 were screened for H. pylori using serology. Helicobacter pylori positive were treated, cure was verified by serology.
The eradication rates were 93.8%, 82.2%, and 77.6% per protocol in pilot study in 1994, in subjects invited in 1996 and 1997-2000, respectively. Helicobacter pylori seroprevalence rates were calculated to have decreased from 36% to 14% in pilot study, from 12% to 4% among subjects invited in 1996, from 3% to 2% among subjects aged 15 and from 27% to 12% among subjects aged 45 in 1997-2000. An epidemiologic questionnaire in 1996 revealed that crowding in the childhood household, low education of the mother, current smoking and alcohol consumption, unfavorable housing conditions, and sick leaves due to dyspepsia were independently associated with H. pylori infection.
This intervention with high participation rates resulted in a significant decline in calculated H. pylori seroprevalence rates. Although the low prevalence of H. pylori infection may limit the cost efficiency of the program, the intervention is expected to reduce the burden of H. pylori-associated diseases.