Background: The objective of this study was to compare the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (HP) seropositivity in patients undergoing bariatric surgery with that of the general population. Methods: H. pylori serologies, tested by ELISA, were collected on 240 morbidly obese patients seen at the Cleveland Clinic Florida and on 2444 randomly selected patients seen at the Cleveland Clinic Health System from 2003-2005. Results: H. pylori prevalence was 61.3% in the bariatric surgery group versus 48.2% in the general population control group (p <0.001). Bariatric patients had a 1.7-fold increased likelihood of having HP when compared with controls (95% CI = 1.3-2.2). Age over 35 years was an independent risk factor for HP seropositivity (p <0.01) in both the bariatric and control groups. There was no association found between body mass index and seropositivity within the bariatric group. There was no significant association between seropositivity and gender (p = 0.776). However, there was a significant association between seropositivity and race (p <0.01). African-Americans had four times more (OR = 4.05) probability of having HP seropositivity than Caucasians (p <0.01). Hispanics had almost three times (OR = 2.6) more probability of having HP seropositivity than Caucasians (p <0.01). Conclusion: The prevalence of HP seropositivity among bariatric patients is significantly higher than the general population control group.
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