H. pylori Screening May Cut Long-Term Dyspepsia Costs

Savings of $117 per person over 10 years

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Screening and treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection may be a long-term, cost-effective method for reducing health care burden from infection-associated dyspepsia, according to a report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

Paul Moayyedi, M.D., from McMaster University Health Sciences Center in Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues sent questionnaires to H. pylori-positive individuals, aged 40 to 49, who were enrolled in a randomized, controlled screening and eradication program in 1994.

A total of 919 out of 2,324 subjects were contacted and allowed their primary care records to be reviewed. The authors found the program resulted in dyspepsia-related health care cost reductions of $117 per person over the 10-year period.

"An H. pylori 'search and eradicate' strategy is primarily advocated as a means of reducing the mortality from distal gastric cancer, not the community incidence of dyspepsia," the authors write. "Previous modeling studies comparing cost of initial screening for H. pylori and treatment with projected costs of treatment of subsequent gastric cancer have suggested that this may be a cost-effective approach, depending on H. pylori prevalence, probability of gastric cancer and efficacy of eradication therapy."

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