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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 39 (1997) 5, 415 - 419

Short report

Seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori in schizophrenic patients

M. De Hert, D. de Wilde, J. Reemans, M. Hautekeete, J. Peuskens

Helicobacter pylori is the most common infectious disease in man. There is considerable controversy concerning the possible modes of transmission. Person-to-person transmission has been documented in children but it is unknown whether it occurs in adults. In order to explore this question we assessed the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in a cohort of hospitalized schizophrenic patients with a hypothesis of personto-person transmission correlated to length of stay in hospital.
We evaluated 89 patients and controls. We found significant differences between patients and controls on prevalence of positive serology for Helicobacter pylori (34.8 % vs 14.6 %, p < 0.01) with an Odds Ratio of 3.0 (CI 1.4 - 7.3). There was a strong correlation with length of stay in hospital.
The study confirms the hypothesis for a person-to-person transmission of Helicobacter pylori in adults. The high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in schizophrenic patients should receive attention by clinicians in the assessment of general physical health due to the relation between Helicobacter pylori and serious gastric disease.