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Reflux oesophagitis and Helicobacter pylori infection in elderly patients.
  1. R. Liston,
  2. M. A. Pitt,
  3. A. K. Banerjee
  1. Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Bolton General Hospital, UK.


    Helicobacter pylori is associated with gastritis, peptic ulcers and gastric malignancies. Little attention has been paid to the possibility that it may also have a role in the pathogenesis of reflux oesophagitis. This is especially true in elderly patients who have life-long infection and provide an ideal group to study the mucosal changes associated with the organism. The aim of this study was to determine if H pylori is associated with reflux oesophagitis in elderly patients. Consecutive gastroscopy patients were recruited. Multiple biopsies were taken from oesophagus, stomach, antrum and duodenum for histology and rapid urease tests. Patients also had IgG ELISA antibodies and 13C-urea breath tests performed. Patients with macroscopic or microscopic evidence of reflux oesophagitis were compared to patients with macroscopically normal upper gastrointestinal tracts and no microscopic evidence of reflux. A total of 114 patients were recruited, average age 78.9 years (+/- 5.4). There were 37 refluxers and 33 non-refluxers. We found no evidence for an association between the presence of H pylori and reflux oesophagitis in elderly patients. The high prevalence of H pylori in patients with reflux oesophagitis can be explained by the presence of incidental gastritis.

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