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Plasma ghrelin levels, G/O ratios low in elderly intestinal metaplasia patients

20 Apr 2017

Plasma ghrelin levels and plasma ghrelin/obestatin (G/O) ratios are significantly reduced in elderly intestinal metaplasia patients, a new study shows.

The investigators prospectively enrolled 92 elderly patients (median age, 69.4 [60 to 88]) diagnosed with functional dyspepsia (FD). Those currently receiving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, below the age of 60, with histories of gastric surgery and with structural diseases were excluded.

Participants were divided into two according to the Rome III criteria: postprandial distress syndrome (PDS) and epigastric pain syndrome (EPS). Enzyme immunoassays and histological and histopathological examinations were performed to evaluateplasma ghrelin, plasma G/O and Heliobacter pylori infection.

Of the 92 patients, 49 tested positive for H. pylori; between the infection positive and negative groups, there were no significant differences in age, BMI, plasma ghrelin and obestatin levels, proportion of males, and symptoms and subtypes of FD.

Similarly, there were no significant differences in terms of age, proportion of males, BMI, plasma ghrelin and obestatin levels when participants were grouped according to FD subtype, presence of gastric atrophy and histopathological findings.

In contrast, patients with intestinal metaplasia had significantly lower levels of plasma ghrelin (6.59±0.29 pg/mL) and plasma G/O (1.78±0.54) than those without metaplasia (6.77±0.34 pg/mL and 2.17±0.92, respectively; p=0.01 and p=0.012, respectively).

Analysis according to gender showed that the association of intestinal metaplasia sand plasma ghrelin was stronger in males (p=0.008) than in females (p=0.325). On the other hand,the association between metaplasia and plasma G/O lost significance in both males (p=0.051) and females (p=0.086).

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