Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection has been associated with iron deficiency anemia. However, results reported in the literature are contradictory. The goal of the present study was to study the possible association between H. pylori infection and iron deficiency in a sample of adults.
Methods: One hundred and fifty individuals were studied (H. pylori-positive n=75; H. pylori-negative n=50). The presence of anemia was determined using red cell indices and reticulocyte hemoglobin content (CHr). Iron status was assessed based on serum iron and ferritin levels. Possible involvement of inflammatory activity in erythropoiesis was investigated by measuring the correlation between C-reactive protein (CRP) and red cell indices and iron status.
Results: There were no significant differences in the hematological or biochemical parameters for the two groups. Iron deficiency was diagnosed in six individuals, but no difference in prevalence was found between the H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative groups. A weak but significant inverse correlation was observed between CRP and CHr concentrations and between serum gastrin and CHr in the H. pylori-positive group. These results suggest a reduction in iron availability for reticulocyte hemoglobinization, but insufficient to cause anemia.
Conclusions: H. pylori infection was not a determining factor for development of iron deficiency in our study population.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:1809–12.