Association of Alcohol Drinking and Helicobacter pylori Infection: A Meta-Analysis
Background: The association between drinking and Helicobacter pylori infection was not clear in the literature. Owing to mixed and inconclusive results, a meta-Analysis was conducted to summarize and clarify this association systematically. Methods: Based on a comprehensive search of PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases, studies investigating the association between drinking and H. pylori infection were retrieved. We evaluated the strength of this relationship using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals. Sensitivity analysis was also conducted. Results: A total of 24 individual studies were included in this meta-Analysis. The risk of H. pylori infection was significantly lower in alcohol drinkers than nondrinkers (OR=0.83). People who drink wine (OR=0.90) or mixed types of alcoholic beverages (OR=0.78) had a lower risk of infection compared with those who drink beer. Among people aged 40 years or older, alcohol drinkers had a lower risk of H. pylori infection than nondrinkers (OR=0.68). Among people less than 40 years of age, alcohol drinking was not associated with H. pylori infection risk. Data showed that women were at a lower risk of H. pylori infection than men (OR=0.86). Conclusions: This meta-Analysis suggests that the risk of H. pylori infection among alcohol drinkers is lower than that of nondrinkers. Drinking wine and mixed types of alcohol are better at reducing H. pylori infection than drinking beer. Nonetheless, we discourage reducing H. pylori infection through drinking, which increases the risk of other diseases.