SEROPREVALENCE AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS OF HELICOBACTER PYLORI AMONG MYANMAR CHILDREN FROM THE PERI-URBAN COMMUNITY OF YANGON
Helicobacter pylori infects 50% of children aged 5 years in developing countries. The infection is associated with socio-economic background and family composition. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence and associated factors of Helicobacter pylori infection among Myanmar children in Insein Township, which is a peri-urban community situated in the northern region of Yangon. A cross-sectional study was carried out in Insein Township on 193 children, aged 2 to 13 years, who were tested for H. pylori antibody by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. Parents were interviewed using a questionnaire. Statistical analyses were done using chi-square test and two-sample t-test. The prevalence of H. pylori infections was 67.36%. The mean age of the participants was 7.6 +/- 3.85 years. Those positive for H. pylori antibody were significantly older (8.18+/-3.8) than those with negative results (6.41+/-3.7). There is no gender preponderance. The sero- positive rate was higher among low socio-economic group. The children who tested positive for H. pylori antibody had a mean family member of 5.97+/-2.22 and those who tested negative had 6.06+/-2.17. Thus, there was no association between H. pylori infection and number of family members. There was no association between H. pylori infection and overcrowding, type of drinking water, type of latrine used and type of housing.Our findings suggest that the prevalence of H. pylori infection among Myanmar children is common, as it is in other developing countries, and also highlight its association with socioeconomic status. Over time, the prevalence of H. pylori infections in children is expected to decline worldwide in parallel with the improvement in socioeconomic status of the nations. There is a need to intensify efforts of improving sanitation and living conditions in order to protect children against H. pylori infection.
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