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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

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Helicobacter pylori infection and the severity of gastritis are not associated with iron deficiency in a group of Brazilian patients

Eliana C. Alvarenga1 / Ciro G. Montes2 / Fábio Guerrazzi2 / José M. Zeitune2 / Helena Z.W. Grotto1

1Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas, Brazil

2Center for Digestive Diseases – Gastrocentro, State University of Campinas, Brazil

Corresponding author: Helena Z.W. Grotto, Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, CP 6111, CEP 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil Fax: +55 19 3521 9434,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 48, Issue 12, Pages 1809–1812, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2010.356, October 2010

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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.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; erythropoiesis; Helicobacter pylori; iron deficiency anemia; iron metabolism; reticulocyte hemoglobin

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