Unexplained iron deficiency anemia: Does Helicobacter pylori have a role to play?

Savio John, Juan Diego Baltodano, Nilesh Mehta, Katherine Mark, Uma Murthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and aim: Testing for Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection is recommended for work-up of unexplained iron deficiency anemia (IDA), although the evidence supporting this recommendation is scant. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between Hp infection and unexplained iron deficiency (ID) or IDA in the older adult population without significant upper gastrointestinal source of blood loss. Methods: Retrospective single-center cohort study; 523 out of 1253 consecutive patients who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy with no significant upper and/or lower gastrointestinal source for blood loss or risk factors for IDA. Comparisons were made between the Hp-positive and Hp-negative groups using Fisher exact test, chi-square test and Student’s t-test. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify significant risk factors associated with ID and IDA. Results: One hundred and three subjects (19.7%) had Hp infection and 420 (80.3%) were negative for Hp. Sixty-eight (22.1%) out of 307 subjects with available serum iron profile had unexplained ID and 28 (5.4%) out of 510 subjects with available hemoglobin profile had unexplained IDA. No association was found between ID/IDA and Hp infection in univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses. Conclusion: We found no association between unexplained ID or IDA and Hp infection in older adult population without peptic ulcer disease or significant upper gastrointestinal source of blood loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalGastroenterology Report
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Iron deficiency


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