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Minerva Endocrinologica 2019 September;44(3):301-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.19.03021-9

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Helicobacter pylori and diabetes mellitus: a controversial relationship

Marina VALENZANO 1, 2 , Alessandro BISIO 3, Giorgio GRASSI 2

1 School of Specialization in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology, and Metabolism, Città della Salute e della Scienza University Hospital, Turin, Italy; 3 Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA



Research on Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a pathogenic bacterium that is widespread among humans, is investigating the medical implications of the infection in many fields beyond gastroenterology. Because of the ubiquitous presence of the infection, there is an increasing interest in finding a relationship between this bacterium and diabetes mellitus (DM). It is not clear whether a significant relation between H. pylori and DM exists, whether the infection influences diabetes or vice versa, and the mechanisms underlying such a relationship. This review provides an analysis of new insights from studies published in more recent years. New research on this topic concentrated on the common pathogenic aspects between the bacterium and insulin resistance or autoimmunity, on the role of the bacterial infection in cardiovascular risk and whether the infection worsen glycemic outcomes in patients with DM. Research in this field still has to conclusively assess and explain the existence of a possible relationship between H. pylori and DM. Some studies have reached antithetic conclusions. Unless more robust data from studies using consistent research methods become available in the near future, people with diabetes should be compared to the general population when it comes to investigating and treating the presence of H. pylori.


KEY WORDS: Helicobacter pylori; Diabetes mellitus; Cardiovascular diseases; Peptic ulcer; Gastritis; Stomach neoplasms

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