infected with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria are
likely to suffer a relapse of gastroesophageal reflux disease
(GERD) much more quickly than those in whom H. pylori has
been eradicated, according to a Swiss study.
all Americans over age 60 carry H. pylori bacteria, and while
some develop peptic ulcers, most do not. But the bacteria
is believed present in a majority of sufferers of GERD.
by the University Hospital in Zurich was aimed at determining
whether eradication of H. pylori in GERD patients as part
of their treatment for recurring heartburn would prolong the
symptom-free interval in patients.
study of 70 patients with GERD, the researchers gave all patients
lansoprazole for 10 weeks. Patients infected with H. pylori
received either an antibiotic or a placebo for the first 10
days. All patients were then tracked for six months for GERD
in The Lancet, the researchers said GERD symptoms returned
in H. pylori positive patients in about half the time (54
days) of patients in whom the H. pylori bacteria had been
eradicated (100 days), while the control group that had been
H. pylori free from the start remained free of GERD symptoms
the longest (110 days).
pylori infection positively affects the relapse rate of GERD,"
the researchers concluded. "Eradication of H. pylori
could, therefore, help to prolong disease-free interval in
patients with GERD."
Medical Week staff,
week of July 8, 2001