No link between H. pylori infection and carotid intima-media thickness
There appears to be no meaningful link between Helicobacter pylori infection and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in the general population, according to a recent China study.
Researchers enrolled 13,770 individuals who had undergone both the H. pylori test and CIMT measurements. A minority of the study population tested positive for the infection (39.3 percent; n=5,418; mean age 52.0±12.1 years; 62.5 percent male) while most (n=9,741) did not have increased CIMT.
In those who were positive for the infection, 28.6 percent (n=1,549) showed increased CIMT. This was not significantly different than in those who were negative for the infection (n=8,352; mean age 52.8±12.8 years; 58.5 percent male), of whom 29.7 percent (n=2,480) had increased CIMT (p=0.164).
Conversely, there was no significant difference in the rate of H. pylori infection among those with and without increased CIMT (38.4 percent vs 39.7 percent; p=0.164).
This was further confirmed in binary logistic regression analysis, which showed no significant relationship between CIMT and H. pylori infection status even after adjustments for covariates such as waistline, total cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and body mass index, among other (odds ratio [OR], 1.118; 95 percent CI, 0.958–1.306; p=0.157).
While the present findings suggest that H. pylori infections are unrelated to CIMT, future, larger studies involving other strains are needed to determine the involvement of the bacteria in atherosclerosis, said researchers.