Asymptomatic Helicobacter pylori infection and iron deficiency are not associated with decreased growth among Alaska Native children aged 7-11 years.Helicobacter. 2006 Jun; 11(3):159-67.H
Alaska Native children have high Helicobacter pylori infection and iron deficiency prevalences, and their average height-for-age is lower than US reference populations. During a clinical trial to determine the impact of H. pylori treatment on iron deficiency, we evaluated the effects of H. pylori infection and treatment on growth.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We measured height and weight for children aged 7-11 years in western Alaska using village-based measuring devices. H. pylori infection was determined by urea breath test and iron deficiency using serum ferritin. Children with H. pylori infection and iron deficiency entered the treatment phase and received iron alone or iron plus triple therapy for H. pylori. Follow-up evaluations occurred at 2, 8, and 14 months. We evaluated the association between baseline H. pylori infection and growth; among children in the treatment phase, we also assessed the effect of H. pylori resolution on growth.
At baseline, 566 (87.1%) of 650 children were infected with H. pylori. Neither height and weight, nor body mass index differed by H. pylori infection status. Of 189 children in the treatment phase, 20 (10.6%) were uninfected at all three follow-up periods, and 54 (28.6%) were uninfected for one or two periods. Compared with continuously infected children, children in these two groups had little evidence of improvements in any of the measured growth outcomes.
H. pylori infection is not related to growth among Alaska Native children aged 7-11 years. Growth deficiency should not be considered an indication for H. pylori therapy.