Helicobacter pylori in Melbourne Chinese immigrants: Evidence for oral-oral transmission via chopsticks Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The Helicobacter pylori seroprevalence in a representative population of 328 Melbourne Chinese immigrants (162 men and 166 women) aged 25 years and older were studied. The population consisted of Chinese people born in China/Hong Kong (n = 110, 33.5%), Vietnam (n = 79, 24.1%), Malaysia/Singapore (n = 102, 31.1%), and elsewhere (n = 37, 11.3%). The overall seroprevalence of H. pylori was 59.5%; 60.5% in men and 58.4% in women. Gender specific analysis showed associations between higher seroprevalence and several socio-demographic factors; in men, age (P < 0.0001), lower education level (P < 0.002), cigarette smoking (P < 0.042), the use of antibiotics (P < 0.015) and chopsticks (P < 0.047), and in women, lower socioeconomical status [education level (P < 0.030), gross household income (P < 0.0001) and occupational status (P < 0.0001)] and use of chopsticks (P < 0.002). Seroprevalence differed between immigrants of various birthplaces (P < 0.001); those born in Malaysia/Singapore (43.1%) were lower than those born in China/Hong Kong (68.2%), Vietnam (68.4%), and elsewhere (59.5%). Immigrants of various birthplaces also differed in their pattern of socio-demographics. Multivariate analyses showed that risk factors for H. pylori infection within the Melbourne Chinese immigrants were, in men, age (B = 1.081) and birthplace (B = 1.769) and, in women, household income (B = 0.541) and use of chopsticks (B = 1.654). This study suggests person-to-person transmission of H. pylori via the oral-oral route with ethno-specific food practices an important risk factor.

publication date

  • October 1995