Eradication of Helicobacter pylori may reduce disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis

P. Zentilin, B. Seriolo, P. Dulbecco, E. Caratto, E. Iiritano, D. Fasciolo, C. Bilardi, C. Mansi, E. Testa, V. Savarino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A triggering infectious agent has long been postulated in rheumatoid arthritis. Data on the possible role of Helicobacter pylori infection are lacking. Aim: To assess the effect of H. pylori eradication in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: Fifty-eight adult patients with established rheumatoid arthritis and dyspeptic symptoms were recruited - 28 were H. pylori-positive and 30 were H. pylori-negative on the basis of invasive tests. All infected patients were treated successfully. We evaluated the disease activity using clinical and laboratory parameters at baseline and every 4 months during 2 years, and compared the variations in the two subgroups. Results: H. pylori-eradicated rheumatoid arthritis patients showed progressive improvement over time (P <0.0001) of all clinical indices compared with baseline, whereas H. pylori-negative rheumatoid arthritis patients remained substantially unchanged. After 2 years, H. pylori-eradicated rheumatoid arthritis patients differed significantly (P <0.04-0.0001) from patients without H. pylori infection in terms of improvement of all clinical parameters. At the same time point, several laboratory indices (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, fibrinogen, α2-globulins and antinuclear antibody) showed significantly lower values (P <0.02-0.0003) in the H. pylori-eradicated subgroup compared to the H. pylori-negative subgroup. Conclusions: Our data suggest that H. pylori infection is implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, in that its eradication may induce a significant improvement of disease activity over 24 months. H. pylori eradication seems to be advantageous in infected rheumatoid arthritis patients, but controlled studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1299
Number of pages9
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Eradication of Helicobacter pylori may reduce disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this