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H. pylori ups risk of diabetes

06 Jul 2019

Being infected with Helicobacter pylori appears to increase the risk of developing diabetes among Chinese adults, a new study reports.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of 58,482 Chinese adults (mean age, 43.81±11.52 years; 36,615 males), in whom H. pylori infection was ascertained using the 13C-urea breath test. Diabetes was diagnosed based on fasting plasma glucose (FPG; 7.0 mmol/L), glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c; 6.5 percent) or according to self-reported previous physician diagnoses.

Of the participants, 5.9 percent had diabetes while 32.1 percent had H. pylori infection. The rate of Infection was significantly higher in diabetic vs nondiabetic participants (39.8 percent vs 31.7 percent; p<0.05).

Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that H. pylori infection was significantly associated with a higher risk of diabetes (odds ratio [OR], 1.34, 95 percent CI, 1.25–1.44; p<0.001). Additional adjustments of body mass index, triglycerides, lipid profile, uric acid, hypertension and creatinine did not attenuate the relationship (OR, 1.25, 1.15–1.35; p<0.001).

The link between H. pylori infection and diabetes was robust to subgroup analysis, remaining significant across different sex and body mass index strata. Disaggregation according to age showed that the relationship was pronounced among those 44 years of age.

Moreover, fully adjusted models also showed that H. pylori infection was significantly associated with both FPG (β, 0.033, 0.016–0.049; p<0.001) and HbA1c (β, 0.024, 0.008–0.041; p=0.003).

The findings suggest that controlling H. pylori infections may not only have gastrointestinal benefits but may also delay the onset of diabetes, said researchers. Future prospective studies with well-designed methodologies are needed to confirm the present findings.

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