Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori Infection in Arak, Iran during 2011

Ali Fani, Mohammad Rezaei, Behruz Alizade, Parisa Mirzajani, Soheila Shamsikhan, Mohammad Rafeie, Ali Akbar Malekirad, Saeed Baghi -Nejad



Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a global pathogen with a widely varied prevalence (30%-80%) among different countries and populations. This study aims to determine the prevalence of H. pylori in the population of Arak, Iran.

Materials and Methods:

This was an epidemiologic cross-sectional population-based study with multistage sampling. The population of Arak according to the 2006 census was 615,722 (493,845 urban and 121,857 rural residents). In this survey, five urban and four rural Health Service Centers were randomly selected. The study population was divided between these centers based on the population of individuals covered by these centers. Subsequently, clustered samples were randomly chosen according to Health Care Unit Family Codes and the Right Hand Rule. After obtaining informed consent and completion of a demographic questionnaire, 5 cc of venous blood was taken from each participant for the H. pylori IgG antibody test. In this study IgG antibody against H. pylori was measured by ELISA.


Of 1187 participants, 1150 (853 urban and 297 rural) completed the study. Overall, 673 (58.5%) were positive for H. pylori. The prevalence of H. pylori infection increased with age from 43.9% among those <20 years old to >70% in participants over 50 years old (p=0.002). A total of 57% urban samples and 63.3% rural samples were H. pylori positive (p=0.028(. There was no relationship between H. pylori infection and education level (p=0.37), career (p=0.39) and income, (p=0.29) in either the urban or rural areas [p=0.64 (education level), 0.48 (career), and 0.57 (income)].


Our study showed a lower prevalence of H. pylori compared to some Asian countries, however this prevalence was more common than Western countries. Using disinfected tap water in both urban and rural areas in addition to improved access to general health care might have a role in this relative lower prevalence.


Prevalence; Helicobacter pylori; Infection; ELISA; Arak, Iran

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