Background: The aim of the study was to identify familial and community environmental risk factors associated with Helicobacter pylori infection in a pediatric population.
Methods: Children requiring diagnostic upper endoscopy were included in the study during a 2-year period. During endoscopy, five gastric biopsies were performed for the histologic or bacteriologic diagnosis, or both, of H. pylori infection. Epidemiologic data collected by a questionnaire were analyzed using the chi-square test or Fisher test and stepwise logistic regression.
Results: The authors included 436 patients (242 boys), aged 2 days to 17.9 years (median, 2.7 years). H. pylori prevalence was 7.3%. Univariate analysis found H. pylori was more common in older patients (P < 0.00001), in children who had at least one parent born in a developing country (P < 0.02) or with a low socioeconomic status (P < 0.02), and in those living in crowded conditions (P < 0.02). Children whose mother worked at home were more frequently infected than children whose mother worked outside the home (P < 0.02). Attendance at nursery or school before the age of 6 years was not associated with infection. Logistic regression showed a strong association with H. pylori only for age and number of persons at home.
Conclusions: The source of H. pylori is intrafamilial rather than from a community, such as nursery and school attended at a young age. The number of persons in the home influences the infection status of children but not by the presence of the mother in home. These data suggest that H. pylori infection transmission occurs from siblings or the father rather than from mother.
*Clinique de Pédiatrie, Hôpital Jeanne de Flandre, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire, and †Service de Bactériologie A, Faculté de Médecine, Pôle Recherche, Lille, France
Received May 11, 2000; accepted March 26, 2001.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Frédéric Gottrand, Clinique de Pédiatrie, Hôpital Jeanne de Flandre, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire, 59037 Lille, France (e-mail: email@example.com).