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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 8th Global Arthritis Research Network (GARN) Meeting and 1st Bio-Rheumatology International Congress (BRIC)

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Helicobacter pylori infection in rheumatic diseases

Hongyan Wen*, Jing Luo, Junxia Li and Xiaofeng Li

  • * Corresponding author: Hongyan Wen

Author Affiliations

Department of Rheumatology, Shanxi Medical University, The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, 56 South Xinjian Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14(Suppl 1):P74  doi:10.1186/ar3675

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:9 February 2012

© 2012 Wen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Due to a number of factors, Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection is increasingly recognized as highly prevalent in many populations and of increasing health concern. Hp infection has been associated with digestive diseases and rheumatic diseases[1]. It remains unclear whether all or part patients of rheumatic diseases should be routinely screened for Hp infection. We have examined predictors of Hp infection in rheumatic diseases so as to define who might benefit most from screening.


292 patients with rheumatic diseases were recruited through outpatient rheumatology clinics between 2005-2008. The study was approved by the Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University Ethics Committees, and all participating patients signed an informed consent form. The description of this study is 3-fold: to evaluate the relationship between Hp and rheumatic diseases, to assess the relationship between Hp and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), to explore the relationship between Hp and ankylosing spondylitis (AS).


Patients of rheumatic diseases were significantly more likely to be Hp infection than health control (89 vs 42%, P < 0.01). The study revealed that 88% of RA patients and 90% AS patients suffer from Hp infection. RA patients carried a diagnosis of Hp, a higher prevalence of the value of CRP was associated with the DAS28(Disease Activity Scor-28) (r = 0.287,P = 0.034). AS patients carried a diagnosis of Hp, a higher prevalence of the value of MMP-3(matrix metalloproteinase-3, MMP-3) was associated with the BASDI(Bath AS Disease Activity Index) (r = 0.435,P = 0.009).


Patients of RA and AS are associated with a high prevalence of Hp infection rate. Hp infection may be play an important role in RA and AS.

Next steps

Further investigation with other rheumatic diseases are planned.


  1. Yamanishi S, Iizumi T, Watanabe E, et al.: Implications for induction of autoimmunity via activation of B-1 cells by Helicobacter pylori urease.

    Infect Immun 2006, 74(1):248-56. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL