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Helicobacter. 2009 Feb;14(1):40-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2009.00657.x.

Childhood hygienic practice and family education status determine the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Iran.

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1
Digestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Management of Helicobacter pylori, a causative agent of gastrointestinal diseases is an important health problem in most countries. The main reasons include poorly defined epidemiological status and unrecognized mode of bacterial transmission. Our objective was to investigate the prevalence of H. pylori infection in a representative population of Iran and to evaluate possible risk factors for the H. pylori infection.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

In this cross-sectional study, 2561 healthy individuals aged 18-65 years (mean age, 35.5 years) were selected out of 12,100,000 inhabitants of Tehran province by cluster sampling. Infection with H. pylori was evaluated by detection of anti-H. pylori IgG antibody in serum. Sociodemographic status of each subject was determined by filling up a questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Prevalence of H. pylori infection was 69% and was correlated with increasing age. The highest infection rate (79.2%) was seen in individuals 46-55 years old. No association was detected between H. pylori positivity and gender. Low education of the study subjects; low father's and mother's education; poor tooth brushing habit; crowded families in childhood; and lack of household bath, hygienic drinking water, and swage disposal facility in childhood were determined as possible risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The rate of prevalence of H. pylori infection was higher than developed countries. Low socioeconomic status, poor sanitary indications, and crowded families in childhood were related to high prevalence of H. pylori infection in Iran. Accordingly, fecal-oral and oral-oral routes could be considered as the main pathways of transmission of H. pylori.

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