Association between Chronic Urticaria and Helicobacter pylori Infection among Patients Attending a Tertiary Hospital in Tanzania

Magdalena F. Dennis ,1 Daudi R. Mavura,1 Luryritha Kini,1 Rune Philemon,2 and Elisante J. Masenga1
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Background. Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common skin disease; however, its etiology is rarely recognized. Infection due to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has been shown in some studies to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of CU.

Objective. This study was conducted to determine the association between CU and H. pylori infection among patients attending the Regional Dermatology Training Center, Northern Tanzania, from October 2018 to April 2019.

Methodology. A matched case-control study that included 55 cases and 55 controls matched by age and sex was conducted. Data were collected through direct interviews, and the results of laboratory investigations were recorded in the extraction sheet. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test was used to detect H. pylori antigen in the stool samples. Conditional logistic regression was used to measure the association between CU and H. pylori.

Results. The total number of participants in this study was 110 patients (55 cases and 55 controls), whereby the median age was 31 (IQR 27–45) among controls versus 34 (IQR: 22–46) years among the cases. Both cases and controls had the same number of females and males. There was no significant association between CU and baseline characteristics of the participants. There was an association between CU and H. pylori infection, such that subjects with CU had a higher number of positive H. pylori test (15/55 = 27%) versus controls (6/55 = 10.1%) (). The adjusted odds of CU among patients who were positive for H. pylori were sixfolds higher (OR = 6.9; CI: 1.3–36.2; ) than those of patients who were negative for H. pylori.

Conclusion. There was a strong and significant association between CU and H. pylori infection. We recommend investigating for H. pylori in all cases of CU and conducting further trials on H. pylori eradication.