Relation of adult lifestyle and socioeconomic factors to the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection
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INTRODUCTION: The influence of adult socioeconomic status, co-habitation, gender, smoking, coffee and alcohol intake on risk of Helicobacter pylori infection is uncertain. METHODS: Subjects between aged 40-49 years were randomly invited to attend their local primary care centre. Participants were interviewed by a researcher on smoking, coffee and alcohol intake, history of living with a partner, present and childhood socioeconomic conditions. Helicobacter pylori status was determined by 13C-urea breath test. RESULTS: In all, 32 929 subjects were invited, 8429 (26%) were eligible and 2327 (27.6%) were H. pylori positive. Helicobacter pylori infection was more common in men and this association remained after controlling for childhood and adult risk factors in a logistic regression model (odds ratio [OR] = 1.15; 95% CI: 1.03-1.29). Living with a partner was also an independent risk factor for infection (OR = 1.30; 95% CI: 1.01-1.67), particularly in partners of lower social class (social class IV and V-OR = 1.47; 95% CI: 1.19-1.81, compared with social class I and II). Helicobacter pylori infection was more common in lower social class groups (I and II-22% infected, III-29% infected, IV and V-38% infected) and there was a significant increase in risk of infection in manual workers compared with non-manual workers after controlling for other risk factors (OR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.03-1.34). Alcohol and coffee intake were not independent risk factors for infection and smoking was only a risk factor in those smoking >35 cigarettes a day. CONCLUSIONS: Male gender, living with a partner and poor adult socioeconomic conditions are associated with increased risk of H. pylori infection.
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