1 University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 2 Argentine National Scientific and Technological Research Council (CONICET), Argentina; 3 Hospital de Gastroenterología “Dr. Carlos Bonorino Udaondo”, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 4 Hospital de Clínicas “José de San Martín”, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Introduction: Helicobacter pylori, a gastroduodenal disease associated bacterium, could alter gastric secretion of appetite modulating hormones having impact on food intake and Body Mass Index (BMI). Objectives: To analyze the association of H. pylori infection with serum ghrelin and leptin concentrations and the dietaryanthropometric nutritional status of dyspeptic patients. Methods: The protocol included fasted adults referred for dyspeptic symptoms to a Gastroenterology Unit. 13C-Urea Breath Test was performed for H. pylori diagnosis. Height and weight were assessed for BMI calculation, waist circumference to determine central adiposity, and a 24h dietary recall was administered for estimation of energy and macronutrients intake. Serum total ghrelin and leptin levels were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data analysis was performed using a χ2 test, Mann–Whitney U test, Spearman’s correlation and linear regression. Results: We included 163 patients (40.8±14.0y), 98/65 females/males. H. pylori infection prevalence was 53.4% (CI95%;45.7-65.8%). Energy, carbohydrate, protein and fat intakes were not associated with the infection. The prevalence of overweight/obesity and central adiposity did not differ significantly between H. pylori positive and negative patients (P=0.09 and P=0.87, respectively). Median ghrelin concentrations were 306.5 pg/mL (IQR;230.0–385.5) for the H. pylori positives and 358.3 pg/mL (IQR;253.8-547.8) for the H. pylori negatives. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the infection was associated with lower serum ghrelin concentrations (P=0.016), remaining associated after adjusting for BMI and gender in a linear regression analysis (P=0.019). Median leptin values were 1.75 ng/mL (IQR;0.71–4.70) in the infected group and 1.84 ng/mL (IQR;0.50-5.09) in the uninfected group, which were not significantly different (P=0.76). Serum ghrelin values inversely correlated with BMI (r=-0.25; P=0.0013), while a positive correlation was found between leptin concentrations and BMI (r=0.56; P<0.00001). Conclusions: H. pylori infection was associated with lower ghrelin serum concentrations in adult dyspeptic patients, supporting the role of H. pylori in appetite hormonal modulation.