Changing patterns of the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori among patients at a corporate hospital in Ghana
Introduction: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) discovered in 1982, has strongly been associated with multiple clinical disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. This study described the prevalence of H. pylori among large numbers of patients over two different time periods in Accra, Ghana.
Methods: It was a retrospective records review on patients attending a quasi-government hospital in Accra, Ghana, during two time periods, 1999 and 2012. A total of 2401 records were reviewed, 1128 in first period and 1273 in second period. Biopsy was taken from the gastric antrum for Rapid Urease Test (RUT) in identifying H. Pylori. Data on patient characteristics, clinical diagnosis and findings upon endoscopy were analyzed by simple descriptive statistics. Associations between categorical outcome variables were determined by Chi square test at 95% significance level.
Results: H. pylori infection was high in patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms 69.7% (1999) and 45.2% (2012), and was even higher in patients with gastritis and duodenal ulcer. H. pylori infection however, decreased among patients over the period, 69.7% in 1999 to 45.2% in 2012. Sex differences in H. pylori infection was identified (higher among males) and young adults (21-40 years). Commonest symptom in all patients was non-ulcer dyspepsia, 86.9% in 1999 and 84.2% in 2012, while gastritis and duodenal ulcer were the commonest endoscopic finding in the two periods.
Conclusion: Appropriate management guidelines in West Africa considering the high background H. pylori infection and other co-infections requiring particular antibiotic combination therapy is required.
Key words: Helicobacter pylori; endoscopy; prevalence; sex differences; Ghana
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