KILLING HELICOBACTER DOES NOT CAUSE BARRETT'S ESOPHAGUS

A study from Japan shows that men who are treated with antibiotics for Helicobacter, the germ that causes stomach ulcers, are not at increased risk for Barrett's esophagus. Some doctors will not treat people who are infected with a bacteria called helicobacter because they think that getting rid of Helicobacter increases stomach acidity, causing belching and burning and a precancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus. They think that helicobacter is good because it destroys the stomach lining and its ability to make acid, and that acid going into the esophagus causes esophageal cancer.

This study confirms more than a thousand other studies showing that helicobacter can cause stomach ulcers, and it also shows that three years later, cured patients are asymptomatic and do not suffer an increased incidence of Barrett's esophagus. See report #G111.

Improvement of reflux symptoms 3 years after cure of Helicobacter pylori infection: A case-controlled study in the Japanese population. Helicobacter, 2002, Vol 7, Iss 4, pp 219-224. H Miwa, Y Sugiyama, T Ohkusa, A Kurosawa, M Hojo, T Yokoyama, T Hamada, H Basyuda, N Sato. Sato N, Juntendo Univ, Sch Med, Dept Gastroenterol, Tokyo 113, JAPAN

Checked 8/9/05

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