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Chong VH, Lim KC, Rajendran N
Correspondence: Dr Chong Vui Heng, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection has been reported to vary between and even within countries. We retrospectively assessed the prevalence among patients referred for endoscopy in our local setting.
Methods 4,700 patients, who had endoscopy and H. pylori testing for the first time over a five-year period, were reviewed.
Results The mean age was 45.4 +/- 17.1 years (male 51.1 percent), with racial breakdown similar to the national breakdown. The main indications for endoscopy were dyspepsia (59.6 percent), anaemia (12.6 percent), gastrointestinal bleeding (9.4 percent) and gastro-oesophageal reflux (7.6 percent). The overall prevalence of H. pylori was 26.9 percent, highest in the 30-39 years (30.3 percent) age group. This was higher in males compared to females (30.3 percent versus 23.3 percent, p-value is less than 0.001). Among the racial groups, the expatriate (35.3 percent, p-values are less than 0.001) and the indigenous (31.3 percent, p-values are less than 0.001) groups had significantly higher prevalence rates compared to the Malays (25.9 percent) and the Chinese (23.2 percent). Patients with dyspepsia had the highest prevalence (29.8 percent) compared to the other indications. In patients with peptic ulcer disease, the prevalence rate was 46.9 percent. Over the five-year period, there was a decline in prevalence from 32.3 percent to 25.6 percent. This trend was seen in the Malays and the Chinese, but not the indigenous and the expatriate groups.
Conclusion Similar to reported data from the regions, prevalence of H. pylori infection varies, with the Malays and the Chinese having the lowest prevalence rate. The prevalence among those with peptic ulcer disease was lower than reported. There was also a decline in the overall prevalence.
Keywords:dyspepsia, endoscopy, Helicobacter pylori, peptic ulcer
Singapore Med J 2008; 49(1): 42-46