-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- There may be a link
H. pylori bacteria and type 2 diabetes in adults, according
to a new study.
In some people, an
H. pylori infection of the stomach acquired in early
childhood becomes persistent and can lead to ulcers in the stomach
and small intestine. These bacteria have also been associated with
an increased risk of stomach cancer.
In this study, researchers analyzed data from people who took
part in two U.S. National Health and Nutrition Surveys and found
that the presence of
H. pylori bacteria was consistently associated with elevated
levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), an indicator of blood
glucose levels and diabetes.
This association was strongest in obese people, according to the
study published March 14 in the
Journal of Infectious Diseases.
H. pylori may affect the levels of two stomach hormones that
help regulate blood glucose, New York University School of Medicine
researchers Yu Chen and Dr. Martin Blaser said in a journal news
release. They suggested that using antibiotics to eliminate
H. pylori in some older obese patients could prove
An expert not involved with the study said that while it did not
show a cause-and-effect relationship between the bacterium and
diabetes, the findings suggest certain possibilities.
"This associative data serves as a foundation for future research, possibly even to examine whether eradication of H. pylori may be beneficial from a glucose tolerance
standpoint," said Dr. Minisha Sood, an endocrinologist at Lenox
Hill Hospital in New York City.
Further research is needed to evaluate the health impact of
H. pylori and the effects of eradicating it in people of
different ages and weights, the researchers noted.
In an accompanying editorial, Dani Cohen, of Tel Aviv University
in Israel, and colleagues said that if the study findings are
confirmed, they "could have important clinical and public health
Type 2 diabetes causes about 3.8 million adult deaths worldwide
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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