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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Panminerva Medica 1999 Dicembre;41(4):279-82
Patients with acute myocardial infarction in Northern Italy are often infected by Helicobacter pylori
Pellicano R., Parravicini P. P.*, Bigi R.**, La Rovere M. T.*, Baduini G.***, Gandolfo N.***, Casaccia M.**, Reforzo F.****, Santoriello L.****, Aruta E.°, Marenco G.****, Arena V., Bazzoli F.°°, Rizzetto M., Ponzetto A.
From the Department of Gastroenterology and * Cardiology Molinette Hospital, Turin
** Medicine, Morelli Hospital, Sondalo
*** Mauriziano Hospital, Turin
**** Medicine and Laboratory, Pietra Ligure Hospital
° Cardiology Giovanni Bosco Hospital, Turin
°° Chair Gastroenterology University of Bologna, Italy
Background. The classical risk factors for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) fail to explain all the epidemiological variations of the disease. Among the new risk factors recently reported, several infectious agents appear to increase the risk of AMI. In particular, acute and chronic respiratory diseases due to Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection seem to be strongly involved. The aim of this work is to determine the prevalence of H. pylori infection in a group of male patients with AMI, in a case-control study, where a group of blood donors matched for sex and age served as control. We searched for the classical risk factors in all patients.
Methods. We studied 212 consecutive male patients, aged 40-65 years, admitted for AMI at the Coronary Care Units at Hospitals in three towns of Northern Italy. H. pylori infection was assessed by the highly specific and sensitive 13C-urea breath test and by presence of antibodies (IgG) against H. pylori in circulation. Volunteer blood donors attending our Hospital Blood Bank served as controls. Among the patients we investigated the presence of hypertension, cholesterol and glucose levels in serum, fibrinogen in plasma and the smoking habit.
Results. H. pylori infection was present in 187/212 (88%) of the patients and in 183/310 (59%) of the control population (p<0.0001). Classical risk factors for AMI did not differ among patients with and without H. pylori infection.
Conclusion. Patients admitted to the Coronary Care Unit for acute myocardial infarction had a notably higher prevalence of H. pylori infection than the general population. The classical risk factors for coronary disease were equally present in all patients with AMI irrespective of H. pylori status.