Pattern of Helicobacter pylori infection in normal, overweight and obese adults in Nigeria
Background: Obesity is a state of chronic energy imbalance which has a multifactorial origin, but mainly believed to be due to overeating and underactivity. Prevalence of obesity is rising to an epidemic level world-wide. Obesity is associated with metabolic and cardiovascular complications, and recently, Helicobacter pylori infection (H. pylori). H. pylori is a gram-negative bacteria that colonizes the gastric mucosa, and is highly prevalent. It has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic gastritis, gastric cancer and inflammation. Previous studies observed H. pylori infection as a risk factor to development of obesity, but other reports suggest a protective role of H. pylori against obesity. There is inconsistent data across various population studies.
Aim: To investigate the pattern of H. pylori in overweight and obese subjects in Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 277 subjects (185 males and 92 females), within the age of 18- 72 years were recruited from a university in northern part of Nigeria. Anthropometric and blood pressure were measured, and participants were grouped into normal, overweight and obese. H. pylori was serologically assayed by ELISA.
Results: A total of 149 (53.8%) subjects were within normal body mass index (BMI), 55 (19.9%) were overweight and 73 (26.4%) were obese. From a total of 125 respondents who were positive to H. pylori, 52% were within normal group, 19.2% were overweight, and 28.8% were obese. H. pylori infection was present in 64/185 (34.6%) of males and 61/92 (66.3%) of females in the studied population. Out of obese respondents, only 16% of obese males were positive to H. pylori, but up to 43% of obese females were H. pylori positive.
Conclusion: In the present study, H. pylori infection was less in obese males and more in the normal group. In the females, H. pylori was more in the obese and less in normal and overweight groups.
Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, Overweight, Obese, Male, Females; Nigeria