BACKGROUND: The incidence of diseases related to Helicobacter pylori infection, such as gastric cancer, has been decreasing in developed countries and areas where the economy is rapidly developing. This is also the situation in Shanghai, the largest city in China. However, the prevalent trend of Helicobacter pylori infection in Shanghai is unknown.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate changes in the sero-prevalence rate of Helicobacter pylori infection in Shanghai residents between 1990 and 2001.
METHODS: We tested serum H. pylori immunoglobulin G antibodies in 1557 blood samples from healthy residents of the Shanghai urban area in 2001 using the ELISA method. The sero-prevalence rate of H. pylori infection in 2001 was compared with that in 1990.
RESULTS: In the Shanghai urban area the overall sero-prevalence rate of H. pylori infection in 2001 was 58.3%, higher than that in 1990 (40.5%, P = 0.001). No significant differences in sero-prevalence rates were found in subjects aged 1−9, 10−19 and 20−29 years between 1990 and 2001 (19.8, 42.7, 52.4 vs 27.4, 39.6, and 41.4; P = 0.683, 0.707 and 0.068, respectively). In subjects older than 30 years, a significantly higher prevalence rate of H. pylori infection was observed in 2001 than in 1990 (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of H. pylori infection in urban Shanghai residents in 2001 was greater than that found in 1990.