The influence of socio-economic factors on Helicobacter pylori infection rates of students in rural Zambia
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Objectives: Although prevalence of disease in sub-Saharan Africa is often quite high and attracts much research, relatively little is known about less critical maladies. We examined Helicobacter pylori infected students in rural Zambia. We attempted to determine if any socio-economic or co-occurring diseases were correlated to H. pylori infection. Understanding the context in which H. pylori infections occur may increase our understanding of this organism. Design: We conducted a screening survey with diagnostic tests of primary and secondary school students to determine rates of H: pylori infection. We then correlated these rates to socio-economic factors such as income and tobacco use. We also explored the correlation of H. pylori to HIV and malaria. Setting: Zimba, Zambia. Subjects: Eighty seven primary and secondary school students. Main Outcome Measure: Correlation of H. pylori to socio-economic factors. Results: H. pylori infection was common (60.9%) and was consistent with rates found in other African countries. We found no significant correlation between//. Pylori and disease and socio-economic variables. Conclusion: In the studied population//, pylori infection does not appear to be correlated with the measured socio-economic or disease variables.