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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 205-210

Helicobacter pylori infection in malnourished children in Lagos

1 Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Massey Street Children's Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Oluwafunmilayo Funke Adeniyi
Department of Paediatrics, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_127_18

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Background/Aim: Helicobacter pylori infection is acquired in childhood, but there are conflicting reports on malnutrition and the infection. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of H. pylori infection among malnourished children and highlight the socioeconomic (SE) and clinical factors associated with the infection. Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 122 malnourished children and 120 healthy controls. Anthropometry was done for all the study participants, and the H. pylori status was determined with the use of monoclonal stool antigen test in all the participants. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the factors that could predict the occurrence of the infection in the children. Results: Seventy percent (70.8%) of the malnourished children had moderate malnutrition, whereas 29.2% were severely malnourished. The prevalence of H. pylori in the malnourished children was 22.8% compared to 32.5% in the controls (P = 0.09). The infection was most prevalent in toddlers (60.7%). The SE class was significantly related to the infection (P = 0.01) and about a fifth (21.3%) of the malnourished children who belonged to the low SE class were H. pylori positive compared to 9.2% of the controls. About 64.3% of the malnourished children with H. pylori infection had fever and 25.8% had diarrhea. Multivariate analysis showed that stunting was significantly related to the infection (P = 0.02). Conclusion: H. pylori infection was prevalent among the toddlers and was significantly associated with stunting in this cohort of malnourished children. Screening of children for the infection is still advocated, and infected children should be referred for appropriate treatment and follow-up. The relationship between SE class and the infection still requires further research.

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