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Int J Infect Dis. 2010 Sep;14(9):e788-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2010.03.013. Epub 2010 Jul 17.

The effect of Helicobacter pylori infection on growth velocity in young children from poor urban communities in Ecuador.

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US Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Assessment, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, MS A110, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA.



To characterize the potential effects of Helicobacter infections on growth velocity in low socioeconomic status young children in a developing country.


Children were recruited in poor suburbs of Quito, Ecuador. Normally nourished, mildly and substantially malnourished children (defined using weight-for-age Z-scores at recruitment) formed equal strata. Six height and weight measurements were collected during one year. Enrollment and exit serum samples were analyzed for anti-Helicobacter IgG and exit non-diarrheal feces tested for Helicobacter antigen.


Among 124 participants (enrollment age 19 ± 9 months), 76 (61%) excreted fecal antigen at exit (were infected). Of these, 44 were seropositive at least once (chronic infections) and 32 tested seronegative both times (new or acute phase infections). The adjusted linear growth velocity during follow-up in children with new infections was reduced by 9.7 (3.8, 15.6) mm/year compared to uninfected controls and 6.4 (0.0, 12.9) mm/year compared to children with chronic infections. The effects of Helicobacter infections on ponderal growth were not significant.


These results suggest that linear growth velocity is reduced in young children during the initial phase of Helicobacter infection.

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