Helicobacter pylori infection and extragastric disorders in children: A critical update
Lucia Pacifico, John F Osborn, Valeria Tromba, Sara Romaggioli, Stefano Bascetta, Claudio Chiesa
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori ) is a highly prevalent,serious and chronic infection that has been associated causally with a diverse spectrum of extragastric disorders including iron deficiency anemia, chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, growth retardation,and diabetes mellitus.
The inverse relation of H. pylori prevalence and the increase in allergies, as reported from epidemiological studies, has stimulated research for elucidating potential underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.
Although H. pylori is most frequently acquired during childhood in both developed and developing countries, clinicians are less familiar with the pediatric literature in the field. A better understanding of the H. pylori disease spectrum in childhood should lead to clearer recommendations about testing for and treating H. pylori infection in children who are more likely to develop clinical sequelae.
A further clinical challenge is whether the progressive decrease of H. pylori in the last decades, abetted by modern clinical practices, may have other health consequences.
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Key words: Helicobacter pylori ; Children; Iron deficiency anemia; Chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; Growth retardation; Asthma; Allergy; Diabetes mellitus