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J Med Assoc Thai. 2003 Jul;86(7):672-85.

Stress, but not Helicobacter pylori, is associated with peptic ulcer disease in a Thai population.

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  • 1Department of Medical and Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Burapha University, Chon Buri, Thailand.


The purpose of this study was to clarify the relation between psychological and other risk factors, notably helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, in contributing to the occurrence of peptic ulcer (PU) disease. A retrospective case-control study was conducted at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok from March to December 2000. Seventy endoscopically diagnosed patients with new PU or peptic perforation were compared with 70 patients with other diseases as well as blood donors control matched for age and sex. Historical risk factors, H. pylori Immunoglobulin G antibody (H. pylori IgG Ab), stress (Perceived Stress Questionnaire) and hostility (MMPI Hostility Scale) were assessed. Data were analyzed using logistic regression analysis. The results showed that PU was associated with chronic stress (aOR 2.9, p = 0.01; 95% CI, 1.3-6.5) and family history of PU (aOR 2.4, p < 0.03; 95% CI, 1.1-5.1), with an interaction effect between stress and irregular mealtimes (aOR 4.8, p = 0.01; 95% CI, 1.3-16.9). The incidence rate of H. pylori infection in PU patients was similar to the control group (61.4% and 50.0%, respectively, OR 1.2). The authors conclude that stress and family history, not H. pylori infection, are important risk factors for PU in this population. This finding supports previous studies in Thailand, showing a high prevalence of H. pylori in the population but a low association with PU, in contrast to developed countries. It remains to be seen whether the impact of a family history is due to genetic factors or shared life-style patterns.

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