Helicobacter pylori acquisition rates and the associated risk factors amongst newlywed couples; a prospective cohort study in Tehran, Iran

Maryam Hadji, Mahshid Mortazavi, Samaneh Saberi, Maryam Esmaieli, Neda Amini, Rahim Akrami, Rana Daroudian, Fatemeh Shakeri, Hossein Khedmat, Eero Pukkala, Marjan Mohammadi, Kazem Zendehdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Background: The rates and routes of Helicobacter pylori transmission, in a high-prevalent country like Iran, with gastric cancer as the leading cause of male cancer mortality, are of great essence. Here, we have studied the H. pylori-associated risk factors and the likelihood of interspousal transmission. Methods: In a cohort of 686 young prewed couples, questionnaires were self-administered and serum samples were collected, for assessment of risk factors and H. pylori serostatus, at baseline and follow-up. Of the 475 H. pylori single- or double-seronegative couples, 201 returned for follow-up. The average follow-up duration was 2.2 (SD 0.6) years, with a total of 560.1 person-years. Logistic regression and Cox regression models were used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs). Results: The risk of infection was higher in men than women (OR: 1.3, 95% CI: 1.0–1.8) and among metropolitan than rural residents (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1–1.9). It was also significantly higher among those with three (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1–2.2), and four or more siblings (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.0–1.9), in reference to those with one or no siblings. Adult H. pylori acquisition occurred in 10.9% (27/247) of the seronegative participants. The risk of the acquisition was significantly associated with age (P value for trend=0,000). It was also significantly lower among participants who had various degrees of education as compared to illiterate subjects (HR = 0.2, 95% CI: 0.1–0.9). Nevertheless, our analysis did not find any evidence for interspousal transmission (HR = 1.0, 95% CI: 0.4–2.2). Conclusion: Whilst H. pylori acquisition was detected in the young adult Iranian population, our findings did not support interspousal transmission, as a mode of acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104974
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Acquisition
  • H. pylori
  • Risk factors
  • Serology
  • Spouses
  • Transmission

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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