Helicobacter pylori infection and children's growth: An overview

Gal Dror, Khitam Muhsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Helicobacter pylori infection is acquired in early childhood, yet its role in children's health is still not fully clear. In this narrative review, we focused on the association between H pylori infection and children's growth. Methods: A literature search of the Ovid MEDLINE (till June 2015) and EMBASE (till August 2015) databases was performed using the terms "Helicobacter pylori, growth, body height, growth disorders and child development." Original studies that addressed the association between H pylori infection or eradication and children's growth were reviewed and the risk of bias of each study was assessed. Results: The existing evidence is based on observational studies (N=48) and suggests that H pylori infection may adversely influence children's growth; findings were more consistent across studies with low risk of bias. Regarding linear growth, observational studies have repeatedly linked between H pylori infection and slower or diminished linear growth; yet, it is not known whether this association is causal. The association between H pylori infection and ponderal growth has been less consistent. Scarce evidence exists on the effect of H pylori eradication on children's skeletal growth and weight gain, but there is an indication that H pylori eradication may benefit nutritional status. Conclusions: H pylori infection may impair children's growth. Additional studies, especially clinical trials, are needed to elucidate the role of H pylori eradication in children's growth, and the mechanisms that may be involved in such.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e48-e59
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Helicobacter pylori
  • children
  • ponderal growth
  • review
  • skeletal growth


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