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Review: Eradicating H. pylori Cuts Incidence of Gastric Cancer

Reduction in the incidence of gastric cancer with tx of asymptomatic, otherwise healthy individuals

FRIDAY, July 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Eradication of Helicobacter pylori in asymptomatic adults is associated with a reduction in the incidence of gastric cancer, according to a review published online July 22 in The Cochrane Library.

Alexander C. Ford, M.B., Ch.B., M.D., from St. James's University Hospital in Leeds, U.K., and colleagues examined the effectiveness of H. pylori eradication in healthy asymptomatic individuals in the general population in reducing the incidence of gastric cancer. Data were included from six trials (five in Asian populations) which compared at least one week of H. pylori therapy with placebo or no treatment in otherwise healthy and asymptomatic H. pylori-positive adults.

The researchers found that H. pylori eradication therapy was superior to placebo or no treatment for preventing development of subsequent gastric cancer (six trials, 6,497 participants; risk ratio, 0.66; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.46 to 0.95). Wide confidence intervals were seen on analysis of the effect of H. pylori eradication on preventing death from gastric cancer compared with placebo or no treatment (three trials, 4,475 participants; risk ratio, 0.67; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.40 to 1.11). No effect was seen on all-cause mortality (four trials; 5,253 participants; risk ratio, 1.09; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.38).

"We found limited, moderate-quality evidence that searching for and eradicating H. pylori reduces the incidence of gastric cancer in healthy asymptomatic infected Asian individuals, but we cannot necessarily extrapolate this data to other populations," the authors write.

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