BACKGROUND Epidemiologic studies have revealed a decrease in the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in Western Europe. AIM To obtain data regarding the prevalence of H. pylori in Csongrád and Békés Counties in Hungary, evaluate the differences in its prevalence between urban and rural areas, and establish factors associated with positive seroprevalence. METHODS One-thousand and one healthy blood donors [male/female: 501/500, mean age: 40 (19–65) years] were enrolled in this study. Subjects were tested for H. pylori IgG antibody positivity via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subgroup analysis by age, gender, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and urban vs non-urban residence was also performed. RESULTS The overall seropositivity of H. pylori was 32%. It was higher in males (34.93% vs 29.2%, P = 0.0521) and in rural areas (36.2% vs 27.94%, P = 0.0051). Agricultural/industrial workers were more likely to be positive for infection than office workers (38.35% vs 30.11%, P = 0.0095) and rural subjects in Békés County than those in Csongrád County (43.36% vs 33.33%, P = 0.0015). CONCLUSION Although the prevalence of H. pylori infection decreased in recent decades in Southeast Hungary, it remains high in middle-aged rural populations. Generally accepted risk factors for H. pylori positivity appeared to be valid for the studied population.
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