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BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Sep 8;13:422. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-422.

Deprivation, timing of preschool infections and H. pylori seropositivity at age 49-51 years: the Newcastle Thousand Families birth cohort.

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  • 1Institute of Health & Society, Sir James Spence Institute, Newcastle University, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK.



Helicobacter pylori infection is acquired in early childhood and persists for life (or until eradication treatment is taken). Seropositivity of H. pylori at age 49-51 years was assessed in relation to socio-economic deprivation in early life and the timing of other childhood infections common at that time.


Prospectively collected socio-economic and morbidity data from the Newcastle Thousand Families study, a birth cohort established in 1947. H. pylori IgG seropositivity was assessed at 49-51 years and examined in relation to both whether the individual had been diagnosed with one of measles, mumps or chicken pox, and, if so, the age at first infection. This was done in logistic regression models, allowing adjustment for socio-economic status and housing quality in childhood.


Adult H. pylori status was strongly linked to disadvantaged socio-economic status in early life (pā€‰ā‰¤ā€‰0.002), unlike measles, mumps and chicken pox which showed no associations. Early measles infection was independently associated with H. pylori seropositivity (p = 0.01).


Of the four infectious diseases that we have studied, it appears that H. pylori differs from the others by the strength of association with socio economic deprivation in early childhood. Our findings further highlight the complex interaction between measles, childhood infections and other non-microbiological factors that occur within a whole population. These data suggest a strong association between H. pylori and deprivation and raise the possibility of an interaction between early measles exposure and increased risk of exposure to H. pylori infection.

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