Psychological effects of Helicobacter pylori-associated atrophic gastritis in patients under 50 years: A cross-sectional study

Atsushi Takeoka, Jun Tayama*, Masakazu Kobayashi, Ikuko Sagara, Sayaka Ogawa, Tatsuo Saigo, Masaki Hayashida, Hironori Yamasaki, Shin Fukudo, Susumu Shirabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: While gastrointestinal function is known to be closely related to psychological status, the influence of Helicobacter pylori-associated atrophic gastritis is currently unknown. We aimed to determine whether atrophic gastritis status or H. pylori infection is associated with psychological distress or depressed mood. Materials and Methods: We performed a cross-sectional, observational study involving 975 Japanese individuals (503 females; mean age, 44 ± 8 years) who underwent a health checkup. Psychological distress was defined as a Kessler-6 Scale score ≥13 and depressive mood as a Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score ≥ 16. The odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals assessing the risk of psychological distress or depressive mood associated with H. pylori infection (H. pylori-specific immunoglobulin G levels >10 U/mL) and atrophic gastritis status (pepsinogen I levels < 70 μg/L and pepsinogen I/II ratio < 3) were calculated using multiple logistic analysis adjusting for several covariates. Results: Individuals with atrophic gastritis had a significantly higher risk of experiencing psychological distress, with younger females (<50 years) displaying the highest risk for psychological distress and depressive mood regardless of H. pylori infection status. Among females aged <50 years, H. pylori-seropositive participants with atrophic gastritis (HP+AG+) showed the highest risk of psychological distress (OR, 16.4; 95% CI, 3.45-94.9) and depression (OR, 2.86; 95% CI, 1.31-6.05), using HP−AG− status as the reference. Conclusions: Our findings support the results of previous animal studies regarding the psychological response to gastritis in humans. Further studies are needed to elucidate whether H. pylori eradication provides psychological benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12445
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Helicobacter pylori
  • asymptomatic humans
  • atrophic gastritis
  • epidemiology
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Diseases


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