Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and risk of upper gastrointestinal ulcer in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Japan.

Modern rheumatology / the Japan Rheumatism Association

PubMedID: 17029090

Tanaka E, Singh G, Saito A, Syouji A, Yamada T, Urano W, Nakajima A, Taniguchi A, Tomatsu T, Hara M, Saito T, Kamatani N, Yamanaka H. Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and risk of upper gastrointestinal ulcer in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Japan. Mod Rheumatol. 2006;15(5):340-5.
We evaluated the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and the association of H. pylori infection and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use with upper gastrointestinal (UGI) ulcers in a cohort of Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Using the clinical database of the cohort of RA patients and the serum titers of H. pylori antibody, 1815 patients were analyzed. Clinical data were successfully collected for 1529 patients over 2 years, and the history of NSAID use and the occurrence of newly diagnosed UGI ulcer were ascertained by patient self-reports and confirmed by their medical records. A total of 871 patients (49.3%) were H. pylori antibody-positive. Rates of positivity for H. pylori in patients with and without NSAID use were 47.5% and 54.7%, respectively (odds ratio = 0.75, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.58-0.96). The incidence of newly diagnosed UGI ulcer was 0% in the H. pylori-/NSAID- group, 1.24% in the H. pylori-/NSAID+ group, 1.06% in the H. pylori+/NSAID- group, and 3.46% in the H. pylori+/NSAID+ group. The odds ratios of H. pylori infection and NSAID for the occurrence of new UGI ulcers after adjusting for age and sex were 2.97 (95% CI: 1.19-7.38) and 4.31 (95% CI: 0.57-32.4), respectively. Although the prevalence of H. pylori antibody was low in patients with RA compared with that in healthy Japanese individuals, H. pylori infection was a significant risk factor for UGI ulcer in patients with RA.