We have investigated the association between Helicobacter pylori and gastric carcinoma through a nested case-control study in a single city.
From a cohort of 32,906 residents recruited from 1974 through 1992, 56 cases of gastric adenocarcinoma and 224 matched controls were selected. The mean interval between serum collection and diagnosis was 5.7 years. Frozen serum or plasma samples were analysed for IgG antibodies against H. pylori with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The overall seropositivity prevalence in gastric cancer cases was 82%, compared with 49% in controls, giving an odds ratio (OR) of 5.0 (95% confidence interval (CI), 2.2-11.5). Partial gastrectomy because of peptic ulcer 5 to 36 year before diagnosis of gastric cancer could be a confounding factor. With exclusion of 10 such cases, H. pylori seropositivity among cases was 78%, as compared with 50% in matched controls (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.7-9.2). Tumours of the cardia were not associated with H. pylori (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.23-3.7), which is in contrast to tumours of the fundus, corpus, and antrum, which were significantly associated (OR, 11.1; 95% CI, 2.4-71.8). This difference in location was significant (P < 0.01).
There is a significant association between prior infection with H. pylori and later development of gastric carcinoma, and the association is related to noncardia gastric cancer.