H. pylori infection linked to increased hypertension prevalence
There appears to be a positive association between Helicobacter pylori infection and prevalence of hypertension, according to a cross-sectional study of Chinese adults.
A total of 5,168 individuals (mean age 42.58 years; 39.4 percent female; 18.5 percent had hypertension) underwent a 13C-urea breath test and a routine health check-up. The prevalence rate of H. pylori infection was 32.6 percent.
Compared with those who were not infected, individuals with H. pylori infection were older; had higher body mass index, blood pressure, LDL and fasting plasma glucose; lower HDL; and were more likely to have higher prevalence of hypertension and diabetes mellitus (p<0.05 for all).
Logistic and linear regression analyses showed H. pylori infection to be associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 1.23; 95 percent CI, 1.04–1.46). There were increases of 0.735 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure and of 0.723 mm Hg in mean arterial pressure observed in individuals with H. pylori infection vs those without the infection.
In subgroup analyses, age, sex and body mass index did not significantly influence the observed association between H. pylori infection and the prevalence of hypertension (p>0.05 for all).
In light of the present data, researchers pointed out that strategies to prevent and eradicate H. pylori infection may have a significant effect on prevention and treatment of hypertension. More well-designed studies are needed to validate these findings.
The association between H. pylori infection and hypertension is said to be potentially mediated by high salt intake, which is a major risk factor for hypertension. High salt intake has been shown to stimulate the gastric mucosa and make it susceptible to infection with H. pylori.