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Iron deficiency anaemia can be improved after eradication of Helicobacter pylori


Background Recent guidelines on iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) have confirmed the aetiological role of Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), but the relationship still remains controversial.

Methods Starting in May 2009, searches of the following databases were undertaken: Medline (1966 to April 2009), Embase (1980 to April 2009), the Cochrane library (1800 to June 2008), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Premedline, Healthstar, CBMdisc and the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure Database (January 1970 to April 2009). Changes in haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations and serum ferritin (SF) concentrations were recorded for intervention and control groups. The meta-analysis used random effect models and subgroup analyses were performed to explain heterogeneity.

Results Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. All studies were performed in Asia, an area with a high incidence of IDA and H pylori. The pooled analysis of eight studies showed that H pylori eradication therapy can improve IDA, since changes in Hb and SF concentrations in the intervention groups were higher than in controls. The weighted mean difference (WMD) of Hb was 12.88 g/l (95% CI 6.03 to 19.74 g/l, p<0.00001); the WMD of SF was 10.05 μg/l (95% CI 5.48 to 14.63 μg/l, p<0.00001).

Conclusions H pylori eradication therapy combined with iron administration is more effective than iron administration alone for the treatment of IDA. Eradication therapy has different effects on adults and children. Bismuth based triple therapy has a better response in terms of increased Hb and SF concentrations than proton pump inhibitor (PPI) based triple therapy.

  • Iron deficiency
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • hemoglobin
  • serum ferritin
  • meta-analysis
  • bacteriology, gastroenterology
  • anaemia
  • nutritional support
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