Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of H. pylori infection in areas with high prevalence of gastric cancer in Jiangsu Province, China. Methods. A prospective epidemiologic survey of H. pylori infection was accomplished in a natural population of 5417 individuals in Yangzhong city. Questionnaires and 13C-urea breath test for H. pylori infection were performed. Results. Among 5417 subjects who completed questionnaires and 13C-urea breath test, 3435 (63.41%) were H. pylori positive. The prevalence reached a peak at the age of 30–39 years (90.82%). There was significant difference between sexes and women had a higher infection rate than men. The prevalence of H. pylori infection was also associated with eating kipper food and fried food. No association between H. pylori prevalence and smoking or drinking was found. Compared to healthy individuals, people with dyspeptic diseases (peptic ulcer, gastroenteritis) presented a high prevalence of H. pylori infection. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, age and history of peptic ulcer and gastroenteritis were the independent predictors for H. pylori infection. Conclusions. Yangzhong city had a high prevalence of H. pylori infection and was related to several risk factors. The underlying mechanisms are needed to be further investigated. 1. Introduction Helicobacter pylori is a microaerophilic Gram-negative spiral bacterium . Its helix shape is thought to have evolved to penetrate the mucoid lining of the stomach . It is linked to the development of chronic gastritis, gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and stomach mucosal atrophy. Moreover, Helicobacter pylori is well recognized as a class I carcinogen because chronic inflammation and atrophy can further lead to malignant transformation [3, 4]. At least half the world’s population is infected by this bacterium, making it the most widespread infection in the world, especially in the developing world where rates are estimated to be around 80% . H. pylori is contagious, although the exact route of transmission is not known [6, 7]. Person-to-person transmission by either the oral-oral or fecal-oral route is most likely. H. pylori may also be transmitted orally by means of fecal matter through the ingestion of waste-tainted water . Many of the reported factors for H. pylori infection included poor hygiene, deficient sanitation, and crowded living conditions . However, the roles of many other factors associated have not been elucidated. The aim of the current study was to determine the prevalence of
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