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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Jul;17(7):754-7.

Serum ferritin and Helicobacter pylori infection in children: a sero-epidemiologic study in Korea.

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Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Clinical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Korea.



Helicobacter pylori infection is known to affect iron metabolism and serum ferritin levels, which are reduced in adults with H. pylori infection. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between H. pylori infection and iron status in healthy Korean children.


The H. pylori seropositivity in 753 schoolchildren aged 6-12 years was screened for using an ELISA and confirmed by western blot analyses. Serum ferritin levels were measured using an immunoradiometric assay in 36 H. pylori-seropositive children and in 72 age- and gender-matched seronegative controls.


The median serum ferritin levels were significantly lower in H. pylori-seropositive children than in seronegative controls (24 vs 39 ng/mL; P < 0.001). The prevalence of iron deficiency (ferritin < 15 ng/mL) in H. pylori-seropositive children was significantly higher (13.9%) than in seronegative children (2.8%). This association persisted after adjusting for age and their socioeconomic status (odds ratio, 5.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-30.6).


Serum ferritin levels are reduced in children with H. pylori infection. The H. pylori infection may lead to iron deficiency in children.

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