Previous studies have reported conflicting results on the association between Helicobacter pylori infection and osteoporosis. A few studies have discussed the influence of H. pylori eradication therapy on bone mineral density.
We assessed the prevalence of osteoporosis among the H. pylori-infected population in Taiwan and the influence of early and late H. pylori eradication therapy on bone mineral density.
Using data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified 5,447 patients who received H. pylori eradication therapy from 2000 to 2010 and 21,788 controls, frequency-matched according to age, sex, and year of receiving H. pylori eradication therapy. Those who received H. pylori eradication therapy were divided into two groups based on the time interval between the diagnosis of a peptic ulcer and commencement of eradication therapy. The risk of developing osteoporosis was higher in the early H. pylori treatment cohort (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.23–1.89) and late H. pylori treatment cohort (HR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.39–2.05), compared with the risk in the control cohort. When followed for less than 5 years, both the early and late cohorts had a higher risk of developing osteoporosis (HR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.32–2.16 and HR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.38–2.14). However, when the follow-up period was over 5 years, only the late eradication group exhibited a higher incidence of osteoporosis (HR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.06–2.47).
The development of osteoporosis is complex and multi-factorial. Via this population-based cohort study and adjustment of possible confounding variables, we found H. pylori infection may be associated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis in Taiwan. Early eradication could reduce the influence of H. pylori infection on osteoporosis when the follow-up period is greater than 5 years. Further prospective studies are necessary to discover the connection of H. pylori and osteoporosis.