Background: Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative, spiral-shaped, and microaerophilic bacterium that inhabits the human gastric mucosa and is considered to be the most important etiologic agent for gastrointestinal disorders. Recently, however, there is ample evidence to suggest an association between H. pylori infection and extragastric complications, particularly atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the rate of H. pylori infection and the risk of atherosclerosis in an Iranian population.
Methods: We conducted a comprehensive electronic search on PubMed, Scopus, Google scholar, IranMedex, SID, ISC, and Magiran to find the main published documents related to the relationship between H. pylori and atherosclerosis in Iran. A summary odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was used to investigate the potential association between H. pylori and atherosclerosis. In addition, the heterogeneity between studies was assessed by the I 2 index and the Cochrane Q-test. Publication bias was determined using a funnel plot.
Results: A total of 12 studies met our inclusion criteria and were included in the present study. The results showed that there is a significant positive relationship between infection with this bacterium and the two-fold risk of developing atherosclerosis in the Iranian population (OR: 1.44; 95% CI: 1.07–1.95). However, the heterogeneity was significant and we observed a slight publication bias.
Conclusion: We confirmed a positive relationship between H. pylori infection and atherosclerosis in the Iranian population, which is similar to other reports from Western countries. Most likely, H. pylori infection can increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis.