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J Hypertens. 2004 Aug;22(8):1475-7.

Salt intake and Helicobacter pylori infection.

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University Department of Medicine, City Hospital, Birmingham, UK.



The chance finding of an association between Helicobacter pylori infection and hypertension and the known relationship between salt intake and blood pressure led us to speculate whether these two environmental factors might be related. A positive relationship between them might suggest that a high-salt diet could in some way facilitate gastric H. pylori infection.


We have therefore conducted an ecological study of the national H. pylori infection rates in the EUROGAST study and national salt excretion levels with the INTERSALT project. Ten nations were included in both projects.


Statistically significant correlation between H. pylori infection rates and salt excretion were found in older men and women (r = 0.728 and r = 0.827, respectively) and in younger men (r = 0.728), but not younger women (r = 0.519).


Our findings raise the possibility that salt intake may in some way facilitate H. pylori infection. A dedicated population survey is now justifiable to investigate the role of salt intake in H. pylori infection with the measurement of all possible confounding variables including particularly socio-economic status

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