Helicobacter pylori infection and body mass index in adolescents
METHODS: A sample of 447 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old, attending a public school in Sátão, Portugal, was enrolled in this cross-sectional study. A self-administered questionnaire with questions about socio-demographic aspects, risk behaviours and daily habits was answered by adolescents.The adolescents were screened for HP infection using the 13C-urea breath test that consists in the exhalation of carbon dioxide in samples before and after swallowing urea labeled with non-radioactive carbon-13. Obesity was evaluated by the body mass index (BMI) calculated by the ratio of weight and height (Kg/m2), according to the Cole et al. tables. Prevalence was expressed in proportions and compared by the chi-square test. Crude odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used.
RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 13.0% and 1.6%, respectively. The prevalence of HP infection was 35.9%. Overweight and obesity was not associated with gender (male, OR=0.9 95%CI=0.5-1.6), age (>15 yrs, OR=1.3 95%CI=0.7-2.3), father´s professional situation (unemployed, OR=1.8 95%CI=0.8-4.1) smoking habits (yes, OR=0.7 95%CI=0.4-1.4), alcohol consumption (yes, OR=1.0 95%CI=0.5-2.0) and soft drink consumption (yes, OR=1.2 95%CI=0.4-3.4). However, overweight and obesity was associated with parents`educational level (< 9thgrade, OR=2.1 95%CI=1.2-3.8), residential area (rural, OR=1.6 95%CI=1.1-2.8) and coffee consumption (yes, OR=1.7 95%CI=1.2-2.9). After adjustment by non-conditional logistic regression for gender, age, parents´educational level, father´s professional situation, residence area and coffee consumption the HP infection is not associated with overweight and obesity (OR=1.4 95%CI=0.8-3.2).
CONCLUSIONS: Overweight and obesity in adolescents is associated with socio-demographic variables and addictive habits, but not with HP infection.