• epidemiology;
  • gastric cancer;
  • Helicobacter pylori;
  • peptic ulcer;
  • prevalence;
  • reflux esophagitis


Background and Aims:  The aim of the study was to examine whether the change in the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection had influenced upper gastrointestinal diseases in a recent 17-year period.

Methods:  The prevalence of H. pylori infection was examined by serum H. pylori antibody tests in the subjects undergoing annual health checks at the Social Insurance Shiga Hospital in 1998 and 2005 (142 and 242 subjects, respectively). The prevalence of H. pylori infection in 1988 was estimated by parallel translation from the prevalence in 1998. A total of 2833 records of endoscopy performed in 1988 and 2005 at Otsu Municipal Hospital were studied. The age-adjusted prevalence of peptic ulcer, gastric cancer and reflux esophagitis were compared between 1988 and 2005.

Results:  The age-adjusted prevalence of H. pylori infection significantly decreased in 2005 compared with 1988 (70.5–52.7%). The endoscopic records of 937 and 1246 patients in 1988 and 2005, respectively, were included in the analysis. The age-adjusted prevalence of peptic ulcer significantly decreased 0.34-fold in both men and women in 2005 compared with 1988. The age-adjusted prevalence of gastric cancer significantly decreased 0.44-fold in men, but did not change in women (0.99-fold), and overall significantly decreased 0.56-fold. The age-adjusted prevalence of reflux esophagitis significantly increased 6.6-, 2.7- and 4.8-fold in men, women and total, respectively. The increase was dominant in men aged 30–69 years.

Conclusion:  Over the 17-year period, accompanying the decreasing prevalence of H. pylori infection, the age-adjusted prevalence of peptic ulcer and gastric cancer decreased, but that of reflux esophagitis increased.