Article

European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 205-209

Association of alcohol consumption andHelicobacter pylori infection in young adulthood and early middle age among patients with gastric complaints

A case-control study on Finnish conscripts, officers and other military personnel
  • Mikko PaunioAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, University of Helsinki
  • , Johanna Höök-NikanneAffiliated withDepartment of Bacteriology and Immunology, University of Helsinki
  • , Timo U. KosunenAffiliated withDepartment of Bacteriology and Immunology, University of Helsinki
  • , Unto VainioAffiliated withCentral Military Hospital of Finland
  • , Mikko SalaspuroAffiliated withResearch Unit of Alcoholic Diseases, University of Helsinki
  • , Judit MäkinenAffiliated withPeijas District Hospital Vantaa
  • , Olli P. HeinonenAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, University of Helsinki

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Abstract

There is growing evidence thatHelicobacter pylori is responsible for a variety of gastric and duodenal changes which can eventually lead to stomach cancer. Little is known about risk factors forH. pylori infection. We re-analyzed the association of alcohol withH. pylori positivity in 451 conscripts, officers and other military personnel endoscoped due to gastric complaints in the Central Military Hospital of Finland in 1987 and 1988. Serology and culture were done in all patients. Alcohol consumption histories were obtained by use of a self-administered questionnaire. We observed a high odds ratio (OR) ofH. pylori infection among young adults who were heavy alcohol consumers compared to non-drinkers (OR 5.32, 95% confidence interval: 1.09–25.95). There was evidence of a dose response when heavy and moderate drinkers were compared to non-drinkers (Mantel-Haenszel χ2 for trend,p=0.02) in young adulthood. A subgroup of young respondents who reported drinking all classes of alcohol (including hard liquor) showed an even stronger association and more significant dose-response. Multivariate techniques revealed a qualitative interaction of alcohol withH. pylori positivity in different age groups and among old people an inverse association ofH. pylori and alcohol consumption was observed. These findings, if confirmed independently, might have implications for preventing a variety of gastric and duodenal lesions, since they allow identification of high risk groups.

Key words

Age alcohol consumption Case-control studies Helicobacter pylori