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Could Helicobacter pylori infection increase the risk of coronary heart disease by modifying serum lipid concentrations?
  1. S. Niemelä,
  2. T. Karttunen,
  3. T. Korhonen,
  4. E. Läärä,
  5. R. Karttunen,
  6. M. Ikäheimo,
  7. Y. A. Kesäniemi
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland.


    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between Helicobacter pylori infection and coronary heart disease (CHD). DESIGN: A case-control study. SETTING: Northern Finland (about 650,000 inhabitants). PATIENTS: 116 patients with angiographically documented CHD and 116 controls matched for age and gender randomly recruited from the register of the Finnish Social Insurance Institute. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The odds ratio (OR) estimates for the association of H pylori infection with CHD. RESULTS: 64% of the CHD patients and 53% of the controls were seropositive for H pylori; the OR adjusted for age and gender was 1.5 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9 to 2.5). An additional adjustment for the common risk factors of CHD, including lipid concentrations, in a logistic regression analysis produced an OR estimate of 1.1 (95% CI 0.6 to 2.1). Among the controls, those who were H pylori positive had significantly (P = 0.03) higher concentrations of serum triglycerides than those who were H pylori negative: the trend among the cases was similar, but non-significant. The concentrations of HDL cholesterol tended to be lower in those who were H pylori positive than in those who were H pylori negative, among both the cases and the controls. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of H pylori infection as an independent risk factor for CHD seems to be minor. On the other hand the results are consistent with the hypothesis that H pylori infection might modify the serum lipid concentrations in a way that could increase the risk of CHD.

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