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Confusion grows on H. pylori-GORD link

A new study has brought further confusion to the controversy over the benefits and risks of eradicating Helicobacter pylori in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

The Dutch study, published in this month's Gut, concludes that H. pylori eradication therapy should be prescribed for GORD patients. The resear-chers said their findings showed eradicating H. pylori did not worsen reflux disease and may reduce the risk of gastric cancer.

But in an editorial in the same publication, Professor Kenneth McColl, professor of medicine at the University of Glasgow, says the evidence for both these claims is confusing and unclear. He claims the study actually shows H. pylori eradication does worsen GORD symptoms and that the link between H. pylori

gastritis and gastric cancer is not proven.

National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines skirt the issue, advising doctors to eradicate H. pylori in patients with ulcers but not addressing the issue in GORD patients.

Professor Greg Rubin, professor of general practice at the University of Sunderland, said although eradication of H.

pylori in GORD patients was recommended in European consensus statements, it was not common practice for UK GPs.

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