INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH, vol.16, no.6, pp.449-454, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
There is a positive correlation between Helicobacter pylori infection and chronic active gastritis, peptic ulcer and gastric cancer and maltoma. There is little information on H. pylori profiles in farmers and non-farmers in the literature. Our main objective was to study the H. pylori profiles in farmers and non-formers in the United Arab Emirates. A prospective study of 151 subjects -76 farmers and 75 nonfarmers-was undertaken by determining their IgG and IgA H. pylori antibody profiles in their serum samples. Data on lifestyle were obtained from them. Eligible subjects were those who had engaged in farming for at least five years and who had not received an anti-H. pylori treatment during the six months prior to admission into the study. Most of the farmers lived in less modern accommodation, were less educated, ate their vegetable products unwashed, did not have drinking water facilities, when compared to non-farmers. Helicobacter pylori serology by IgG and IgA was positive in 112 and 77 subjects respectively (p < 0.0001). The sensitivity values for IgG and IgA serology tests were 74.2 and 51.0% respectively (p < 0.001). There were 59 and 42 H. pylori-positive farmers by IgG and IgA H. pylori serology tests respectively (p < 0.001). Among the non-farmers, the corresponding figures were 53 and 25 (p < 0.01), and neither IgG nor IgA (p = 0.4), respectively. The H. pylori serology test was able to differentiate between farmers and non-farmers. When the discordant values between IgG and IgA tests were computed for each group of subjects, the difference was significant for both farmers and nonfarmers (p < 0.001 in each case). There was no difference between the farmers and non-farmers in respect of their H. pylori profiles. The farmers have a lower standard of living than non-farmers.