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Open Access Research article

Relationship between vitamin B12, folate and homocysteine levels and H. Pylori infection in patients with functional dyspepsia: A cross-section study

Shahid Rasool1, Shahab Abid1, Mohammad Perwaiz Iqbal2*, Naseema Mehboobali2, Ghulam Haider2 and Wasim Jafri1

Author Affiliations

1 Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, 74800, Pakistan

2 Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, 74800, Pakistan

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:206  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-206

Published: 30 April 2012

Abstract

Background

H. pylori infection has been associated with many micronutrient deficiencies. There is a dearth of data from communities with nutritional deficiencies and high prevalence of H. pylori infection. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of H. pylori infection on serum levels of vitamin B12, folate and homocysteine in patients with functional dyspepsia (FD).

Methods

One hundred and thirty-two patients with FD undergoing gastroscopy were enrolled. The serum was analyzed for B12, folate and homocysteine levels before gastroscopy. H. pylori infection was diagnosed by histopathological examination of gastric biopsies and urea breath test. An independent sample t-test and the Mann–Whitney test were used to compare mean serum concentrations of biomarkers between H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative groups of patients. A Chi-square test was performed to assess the differences among proportions, while Spearman’s rho was used for correlation analysis between levels of B12 and homocysteine.

Results

The mean age of the group was 40.3 ± 11.5 (19–72) years. Folate deficiency was seen in 43 (34.6%), B12 deficiency in 30 (23.1%) and hyperhomocysteinemia in 60 (46.2%) patients. H. pylori was present in 80 (61.5%) patients with FD while it was absent in 50 (38.5%). Mean serum levels of B12, folate and homocysteine in the H. pylori-positive group of patients were not significantly different from the levels in the H. pylori-negative group (357 ± 170 vs. 313 ± 136 pg/mL; p = 0.13), (4.35 ± 1.89 vs. 4.42 ± 1.93 ng/mL; p = 0.84); (15.88 ± 8.97 vs. 16.62 ± 7.82 μmol/L; p = 0.24); respectively.

B12 deficiency (≤200 pg/mL) was 23.8% in the H. pylori-positive patients versus 22.0% in the H. pylori-negative patients. Folate deficiency (≤3.5 ng/mL) was 33.8% in the H. pylori-positive group versus 36% in the H. pylori-negative group. Hyperhomocysteinemia (>15 μmol/L) was present in 46.2% of H. pylori-positive patients compared to 44% in the H. pylori-negative group. Correlation analysis indicated that serum B12 levels were inversely associated with serum levels of homocysteine in patients with FD (rho = −0.192; p = 0.028).

Conclusions

This study demonstrated an inverse relationship between serum levels of B12 and homocysteine in patients with FD. Moreover, no impact of the presence of H. pylori was found on B12, folate and homocysteine levels in such patients.