April 9, 1997

Helicobacter pylori and Iron Deficiency

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Mediine, Dallas VA Medical Center and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

JAMA. 1997;277(14):1166-1167. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540380080037

Gastric infection with Helicobacter pylori is common throughout the world. Usually acquired in childhood, this infection causes a chronic active gastritis. Chronic infection is usually asymptomatic, but its presence predisposes infected individuals to peptic ulcer disease.1 Unlike gastropathies associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or alcohol, which are erosive and hemorrhagic, H pylori gastritis is nonerosive and nonhemorrhagic,2 the pathology of which is not visible through an endoscope. Thus, H pylori gastritis would not be considered a satisfactory explanation for chronic gastrointestinal blood loss or iron deficiency. However, in this issue, Yip et al3 report in a cross-sectional study of Alaskan Yupik Eskimos (Yupiks) a high prevalence of

See also p 1135.

erosive-hemorrhagic gastritis, gastrointestinal bleeding, iron deficiency, and gastric H pylori infection. Is erosive-hemorrhagic gastritis with chronic gastric bleeding leading to iron deficiency another consequence of chronic H pylori infection? If so, is this manifestation unique