Helicobacter pylori infection has recently been associated with iron deficiency and anemia in developed countries. To determine the association of H. pylori and anemia in a tropical region, we measured hemoglobin concentration (Hb) and H. pylori infection by the 13C urea breath test among 857 pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics. Parasitology, anthropometry, obstetric history, sociodemographic and dietary variables were also assessed. Logistic regression showed an odds ratio of 7.63 (95% confidence interval = 1.73-33.55) for H. pylori infection comparing women with and without severe anemia (Hb < 7 g/dL), controlling for hookworm infection, body mass index and parity, but only among women with a diet low in foods containing heme iron. Infection with H. pylori with low bacterial load was associated with lower Hb concentration while high bacterial load was associated with higher Hb concentration. Further research is needed to establish causality because high worldwide prevalence means that even a small associated risk would be of public health significance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases