Despite strong evidence of an association between Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer, the benefit of eradicating H. pylori infection is unknown. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that exposure to high doses of antibiotics reduces risk for gastric cancer via possible eradication of H. pylori We conducted a nationwide case-control study nested in a cohort of 39,154 patients who underwent hip replacement surgery between 1965 and 1983. Such patients frequently receive prophylactic antibiotic treatment. During follow-up through 1989, we identified 189 incident cases of gastric cancer. For each case, three controls were selected from the cohort. Exposure data were abstracted from hospital records. Blood samples from a separate cohort undergoing hip replacement surgery were analyzed for anti-H. pylori IgG before and after surgery. Both long-term antibiotic treatment before surgery [odds ratio (OR), 0.3; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.1-0.7] and prophylactic antibiotic treatment (OR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.5-1.1) conferred a reduction in gastric cancer risk. The reduction appeared stronger after 5 years (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.3-1.2) than during shorter follow-up after hip replacement (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.4-1.7). There was an apparent decrease in risk with increasing body weight-adjusted doses of antibiotics (P = 0.13). However, the rate of H. pylori antibody disappearance was not strikingly higher in the cohort of patients undergoing hip replacement than in a control cohort. Our findings provide indirect support for the hypothesis that treatment with antibiotics at a relatively advanced age reduces the risk of gastric cancer.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Clinical Medicine -- Cancer and Oncology (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Klinisk medicin -- Cancer och onkologi (hsv//swe)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Klinisk medicin (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Clinical Medicine (hsv//eng)