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H. pylori infection may reduce risk of allergic esophageal condition

New research suggests that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach, which occurs in about half of the world’s population and can cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer in minority of cases, may help protect against an allergic disorder of the esophagus condition called eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).

In a study of 58 adults with EoE and 116 aged- and sex-matched controls, H. pylori infection was inversely associated with EoE. The prevalence of H. pylori in the control group was 37.9%, whereas 3 EoE patients (5.2%) were currently infected with H. pylori and 5 EoE patients (8.6%) reported prior eradication of H. pylori. H. pylori infection was linked with a 76% reduced likelihood of having EoE.

“This adds to the evidence that allergic disorders in general may be less common in people with H. pylori infection,” said lead author Dr. Ulrike von Aarnim, of the University of Magdeburg, in Germany. The results are published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.