Significant Reduction in the Prevalence of Helicobacter Pylori Infection in Albanian Children

Bajram Begaj, Bashkim Resuli, Afrim Marqeshi, Liri Cuko, Skerdi Prifti, Deksona Osmani


Background: In developing countries, Helicobacter pylori infection is very common and begins in the very early childhood.

Aim: To determine the prevalence of H pylori infection in Albanian children aged 8-10 years comparing with the data of the study in 1994 and to identify factors associated with H pylori infection.

Methods: The prevalence of H pylori infection was studied in 308 asymptomatic children between of 8 and 10 years from mixed urban and rural areas. Of two different districts of Albania.  H pylori status was evaluated by stool antigen test (SAT). Urea-breath test were used in 1994 study. Demographic information, socio-economic feature, and living and hygiene condition, such as type of the house, number of person/children living in the house, practices related to water use and toilet facility were evaluated by a detailed questionnaire completed by the teachers with the cooperation of parent of each children.

Results: The overall prevalence of H pylori infection was 58%. Compared to the data of the 1994 study, there were a significant drop to 33%. There were no significant difference between males and female in both studies. The children who grew up in villages had a higher prevalence than those grew up in the city (p<0.001). There were no significant difference in H pylori infection prevalence between the three socio-economic classes. The prevalence were inversely associated with clean water index, crowding index and toilet facility, p<0.001 respectively.

Conclusions: This study confirms the nearly two-fold reduction in the prevalence of H pylori infection in Albanian children 8-10 years of age between 1994 and 2014, consequence of improvement in standard of living and hygiene practices. The childhood is a period of major risk for acquisition of H pylori.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, socioeconomic status, household condition, clean water.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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