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The economic and quality-of-life benefits of Helicobacter pylori eradication in chronic duodenal ulcer disease--a community-based study.
  1. P. S. Phull,
  2. S. D. Ryder,
  3. D. Halliday,
  4. A. B. Price,
  5. A. J. Levi,
  6. M. R. Jacyna
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex, UK.


    A policy of Helicobacter pylori eradication in patients with duodenal ulceration on long-term acid-suppressing therapy was evaluated in a prospective study amongst a general practice population, with particular reference to economic and quality-of-life benefits. One hundred and sixty-eight patients on long-term acid-suppressing therapy had chronic duodenal ulcer disease of whom 88 were eligible for the study; 45 patients attended for review, with 42 testing positive for H pylori (as assessed by 13C-urea breath test). The median duration of acid-suppressing therapy was six years (maximum 15 years); 47.6% of the patients were using additional antacids and 80.9% still experienced epigastric discomfort. Two-thirds (28/42) of the patients eradicated H pylori. Successful eradication was associated with a highly significant reduction in all symptoms. At 12 months follow-up, heartburn had decreased from 28.7% to 7.1%, epigastric discomfort from 75% to 3.6%, nausea from 32.1% to 0% and wind from 50% to 0%. Of the patients that eradicated H pylori 96.4% reported an improvement in their general health compared to none of those that remained H pylori positive. Successful H pylori eradication therapy scored higher on satisfaction ratings than long-term acid-suppressing therapy. Eradication of H pylori resulted in 27/28 patients being able to discontinue acid-suppressing therapy, representing a 5.8% reduction in the use of such drugs per year in the local general practice population. A policy of H pylori eradication in chronic duodenal ulcer disease reduces the use of long-term acid-suppression therapy in general practice. This has important financial implications as well as offering considerable symptomatic benefits to the patients and improving their quality of life.

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