Introduction of an examination and treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection in high school health screening
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- Akamatsu, T., Ichikawa, S., Okudaira, S. et al. J Gastroenterol (2011) 46: 1353. doi:10.1007/s00535-011-0450-6
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Recently, a significant relationship between gastric cancer and Helicobacter pylori infection has been proven. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the actual conditions of H. pylori infection in Japanese teenagers.
The study subjects were students at a certain high school between 2007 and 2009. They were first examined with a urine-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of the antibody to H. pylori (RAPIRAN®). Students who tested positive on this screening examination visited Shinshu University Hospital and received esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and biopsy samples were taken to examine their H. pylori status. The resolution of H. pylori infection was assessed by urea breath test.
For 3 years, 1,224 of 1,232 students (99.4%) received a screening examination for H. pylori infection. Sixty-four of these 1,224 students (5.2%) were found to be positive for H. pylori. Thirty of these 64 H. pylori-positive students visited our hospital, and 24 of them (80%) were confirmed to be infected by H. pylori. The most common endoscopic findings for students with H. pylori infection were nodular gastritis (58.3%) and closed-type atrophic gastritis (45.8%). Histological findings showed no evidence of intestinal metaplasia, except in one of the students. All 24 students were successfully cured of H. pylori infection. If this procedure were to be introduced into the nationwide health screening at Japanese high schools, we calculated that the cost of the prevention of a gastric cancer would be 454,073 yen for each person.
The low rate of prevalence of H. pylori infection in Japanese teenagers would make it possible to perform examinations and carry out treatment for this infection in high school health screenings from the standpoint of medical economy.