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Rheumatoid Arthritis May Improve After
Helicobacter Pylori Eradication

"Eradication of Helicobacter pylori may reduce disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis"

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics


By James Adams

Eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection appears to reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

This suggests that H pylori infection plays a role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

An infectious agent has been previously postulated as a triggering agent for rheumatoid arthritis, explain investigators from the Universita di Genova in Genoa, Italy. The investigators set out to examine the possible role of H pylori.

Fifty-eight adult rheumatoid arthritis patients with dyspeptic symptoms were included in the study. Twenty-eight of these patients were positive for H pylori infection while the rest were negative.

Infected patients were treated and clinical and laboratory parameters of rheumatoid arthritis were assessed at baseline and every four months for two years.

H pylori eradication was successful in all infected patients. These patients showed significant improvement in all clinical indices of rheumatoid arthritis while the patients that were originally H pylori-negative showed little change over the two-year study period.

Also, the patients who underwent H pylori eradication achieved significantly lower values for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, fibrinogen, a2-globulins and antinuclear antibody compared with the H pylori-negative patients.

These results suggest a role for H pylori infection in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, and its eradication appears beneficial for infected rheumatoid arthritis patients, the investigators conclude. They point out, however, that controlled studies are still needed.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2002; 16(7): 1291-1299 "Eradication of Helicobacter pylori may reduce disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis"


Comment: we feel the removal of any meaningful infection or source of inflammation or anything that promotes inflammation with its cousin auto-immunity, promotes this arthritis. We are pleased to see researchers exploring wide causes.

Dr. Schaller

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