(HealthDay News) – Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) seropositivity is associated with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, an interaction which may be augmented by a high body mass index (BMI).

To investigate the association between H. pylori and HbA1c, Yu Chen, PhD, and Martin J. Blaser, MD, of the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, conducted cross-sectional analyses of data from 7,417 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III and 6,072 individuals from NHANES 1999–2000.

The researchers found that there was no correlation between H. pylori and self-reported diabetes. After excluding individuals with a history of diabetes and controlling for confounding variables, there was a positive association between H. pylori seropositivity, especially H. pylori cagA positivity, and HbA1c levels; this interaction was seen in NHANES III and NHANES 1999–2000. In addition, there was a synergistic relationship between H. pylori and higher BMI; having both H. pylori and higher BMI increased the levels of HbA1c to a greater extent than the sum of their individual effects. This interaction was seen in NHANES III and NHANES 1999–2000, and was also seen for H. pylori cagA in NHANES III.

“The findings indicate a role of H. pylori in impaired glucose tolerance in adults that may be potentiated by higher BMI level,” the authors write.

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