The following is a summary of “Global prevalence of gastric cancer in Helicobacter pylori-infected individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” published in the August 2023 issue of Infectious Diseases by Shirani, et al.
Helicobacter pylori infection is strongly linked to gastric cancer, a major global cause of cancer-related mortality. In the retrospective study, the researchers aimed to analyze the worldwide prevalence of gastric cancer in individuals infected with H. pylori through a systematic review and meta-analysis.
They investigate the data from various essential sources to know the prevalence of GC in H. pylori-infected individuals from January 1, 2011, to April 20, 2021. Metaprop package was utilized to compute pooled prevalence with a 95% CI. A random-effects model and a measure called the I2 index were used to check the pooled prevalence. If the I2 value was above 0.7, it meant the results were very different from each other.
Out of 17,438 reports, they examined 1,053 articles in full to check eligibility. Only 149 articles were included in the final analysis, containing data from 32 countries. America (pooled prevalence: 18.06%; 95% CI: 16.48 − 19.63; I2: 98.84%) and Africa (pooled prevalence: 9.52%; 95% CI: 5.92 − 13.12; I2: 88.39%) showed the highest and lowest prevalence. Of individual countries, Japan showed the highest percentage of GC in H. pylori-positive patients(Prevalence: 90.90%:95% CI: 83.61–95.14). In contrast, Sweden had the lowest rate (Prevalence: 0.07%; 95% CI: 0.06–0.09). However, prevalence rates differed by study type. Prospective case series had the highest prevalence (23.13%; 95% CI: 20.41 − 25.85; I2: 97.70%)), while retrospective cohorts had the lowest prevalence (pooled prevalence: 1.17%; 95% CI: 0.55 − 1.78; I2: 0.10%)
The study revealed regional variation in H. pylori infection among GC patients, highlighting a significant association between high GC rates in developed countries and H. pylori infection, suggesting potential for targeted regional initiatives to mitigate H. pylori-related complications globally.