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Cancer Detect Prev. 1999;23(5):357-67.

Helicobacter pylori infection on the risk of stomach cancer and chronic atrophic gastritis.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1772, USA.


Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with gastric adenocarcinoma. However, the mechanisms of this interaction are still unclear. This study was conducted to explore the effects of H. pylori infection on early and late stage gastric carcinogenesis. This study included 134 patients with adenocarcinoma of the stomach (ACS), 67 patients with chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), and 65 normal controls recruited at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) from November 1, 1992 to November 1, 1994. Epidemiologic data were collected by a modified National Cancer Institute Health Habits History Questionnaire. H. pylori infection was diagnosed by pathological evaluation. Risk factors were analyzed using logistic regression. The odds ratio (OR) associated with H. pylori infection was 10.4 [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.6-41.6] for CAG and 11.2 (95% CI: 2.5-50.3) for gastric cancer in comparison with normal controls, with adjustment for pack-years of smoking, alcohol drinking, body mass index, total caloric intake, dietary fat and fiber intake, and Barrett's esophagus. But H. pylori infection was not associated with risk of stomach cancer when patients with stomach cancer were compared with patients with CAG (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.3-1.3) after controlling for potential confounding variables. This association was persistent when only patients with both gastric cancer and chronic gastritis were considered as cases and patients with CAG were considered as controls (OR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.3-2.0) in the multivariate analysis. Our results suggest that H. pylori infection may be involved in the early stage of development of CAG, but not in the development of stomach cancer from CAG, and indicate that strategies for prevention of stomach cancer should target the early stage to eliminate H. pylori infection in high-risk populations.

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