Helicobacter pylori seropositivity and colorectal cancer risk: A prospective study of male smokers

Paul J. Limburg, Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon, Lisa H. Colbert, Guillermo I. Perez-Perez, Martin J. Blaser, Philip R. Taylor, Jarmo Virtamo, Demetrius Albanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Because Helicobacter pylori colonization can produce systemic as well as local effects, it may be associated with carcinogenesis in extra gastric target organs. The currently available data regarding a possible link between H. pylori seropositivity and colorectal cancer risk are limited and inconclusive. In this prospective case-control study nested within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Study cohort of Finnish male smokers aged 50-69 years, we examined the association between H. pylori seropositivity and incident colorectal adenocarcinoma. Separate risk estimates were derived by colorectal cancer anatomical subsite and by H. pylori CagA seropositivity status. Demographic, dietary, and lifestyle variables were accounted for in the data analyses using information obtained from a prerandomization questionnaire and physical examination. Baseline serum samples from 118 cases and 236 matched controls were assayed for both H. pylori whole cell and H. pylori CagA antibodies. In total, 258 (73%) and 212 (60%) subjects expressed whole cell and CagA antibodies, respectively. H. pylori seropositivity, defined as one or both antibody assays positive, was present in 273 (77%) subjects. None of the seropositivity results were statistically different between cases and controls. Multivariate odds ratio (95% confidence interval) estimates for whole cell, cagA, and H. pylori seropositivity were 1.05 (0.63-1.74), 1.17 (0.74-1.84), and 0.91 (0.53-1.55), respectively. Stratification by colorectal cancer subsite yielded similarly unremarkable results. On the basis of these data, H. pylori carriage does not appear to be an important risk factor for colorectal adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1099
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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