25 May 2001
Although several independent studies have claimed a link between Helicobacter pylori infection and coronary heart disease (CHD), this association has not been established conclusively. The aim was to determine whether an association between H. pylori infection and CHD can be demonstrated in Japanese patients. Three-hundred and four patients who underwent consecutive coronary arteriography were investigated. Ninety-four patients had single-vessel coronary stenosis and 112 had multi-vessel stenosis. The remaining 98 patients had no significant stenosis in any coronary arteries. H. pylori infection was diagnosed serologically and the association between infection and CHD was estimated by the odds ratio. The serum pepsinogen (PG) I-II ratio was used to estimate the degree of gastric atrophy. Seropositivity for H. pylori was significantly higher in the patients with CHD (67%) than in the controls (50%; p = 0.006). The odds ratio for CHD after having H. pylori infection was estimated as 1.35 (95% confidence interval 1.03–1.78; p = 0.028), after adjustment for the common risk factors of CHD in a logistic regression analysis. The association between CHD and H. pylori infection was more significant among patients without any history of diabetes or smoking. The PG I-II ratio in H. pylori-positive patients was significantly higher in the multi-vessel group (3.46) than in the control or single-vessel group (2.86, p = 0.030; 2.78, p = 0.008; respectively). H. pylori infection was shown to be an independent risk factor for CHD in Japanese patients, especially among those who did not have a history of diabetes or smoking. These data imply that the association between H. pylori infection and CHD is clinically relevant.