The association between helicobacter pylori infection and inflammatory bowel disease based on meta-analysis

T. Rokkas*, J. P. Gisbert, Y. Niv, C. O’Morain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In humans there are epidemiological data suggesting a protective effect of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection against the development of autoimmune diseases and in addition, there are laboratory data illustrating H. pylori’s ability to induce immune tolerance and limit inflammatory responses. Thus, numerous observational studies have examined the association between H. pylori infection and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with various results. Objective: We performed a meta-analysis of available studies to better define the association of H. pylori infection and IBD. Methods: Medical literature searches for human studies were performed through September 2014, using suitable keywords. In each study the risk ratio (RR) of H. pylori infection in IBD patients vs controls was calculated and pooled estimates were obtained using fixed-or random-effects models as appropriate. Heterogeneity between studies was evaluated using Cochran Q test and I2 statistics, whereas the likelihood of publication bias was assessed by constructing funnel plots. Results: Thirty-three studies were eligible for meta-analysis, including 4400 IBD patients and 4763 controls. Overall 26.5% of IBD patients were positive for H. pylori infection, compared to 44.7% of individuals in the control group. There was significant heterogeneity in the included studies (Q ¼ 137.2, df (Q) ¼32, I2 ¼ 77%, p < 0.001) and therefore the random-effects model of meta-analysis was used. The obtained pool RR estimation was 0.62 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-0.71, test for overall effect Z ¼ -7.04, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of publication bias. Conclusion: The results of this meta-analysis showed a significant negative association between H. pylori infection and IBD that supports a possible protective benefit of H. pylori infection against the development of IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-550
Number of pages12
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Meta-analysis
  • Ulcerative colitis


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