A Longitudinal, Population-Level, Big-Data Study of Helicobacter pylori-Related Disease across Western Australia

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Helicobacter pylori, responsible for chronic ulcers and most stomach cancers, infects half of the world's population. The Urea Breath Test (UBT) is one of the most accurate and reliable non-invasive methods for diagnosing active H. pylori infection. The objective was to use longitudinal, population-wide UBT data for Western Australia to look for H. pylori-related disease patterns. We collected 95,713 UBT results from 77,552 individuals for the years 2010-2015, likely representing all of the UBT samples analysed in Western Australia. Data collected also included sex, age and residential postcode. Other data reported here were inferred via a comparison with the 2011 Australian Census using a specially written Python program. While women appear to have more H. pylori-related disease than men, there is no difference in the disease rates once women's higher rates of presentation for testing are taken into account. On the other hand, while the treatment strategy for H. pylori infection is generally very effective in Western Australia, failure of the first-line treatment is significantly more common in women than men. Migrants and Aboriginal Australians have elevated rates of H. pylori-related disease, while the rate for non-Aboriginal Australian-born West Australians is very low. However, no significant associations were found with other socio-economic indicators. We conclude that, for some people, H. pylori-related disease is not a solved problem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1821
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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