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The occupational risk of Helicobacter pylori infection among workers in institutions for people with intellectual disability
  1. Antoon A De Schryver (antoon.deschryver{at}
  1. IDEWE Occupational Health Services/University of Antwerp, Belgium
    1. Kathleen Cornelis
    1. IDEWE Occupational health Services, Belgium
      1. Myriam Van Winckel
      1. Clinic of Paediatrics, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
        1. Guido F Moens (guido.moens{at}
        1. IDEWE Occupational Health Services/Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
          1. Gery Devlies
          1. IDEWE Occupational Health Services, Belgium
            1. Dirk Derthoo
            1. PROVIKMO Occupational Health Services, Belgium
              1. Marc Van Sprundel
              1. University of Antwerp, Belgium


                Objectives: We conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the occupational risk for Helicobacter pylori infection, on top of other risk factors, in staff members of institutions for people with intellectual disability. In these institutions, the residents had a documented high prevalence of H. pylori infection (86% presenting antibodies). As a control group, we used administrative workers from other companies.

                Methods: All participants completed a questionnaire concerning sociodemographic characteristics, medical history and employment data and they underwent a serology test.

                Results: 671 staff members of the institutions, and 439 subjects in the control group participated in the study. Prevalence of H. pylori antibodies was significantly higher in the study group than in the control group (40.6% vs. 29.2%; p<0.001). Crude odds ratio for occupational risk was 1.68; adjusting for the confounding effect of age, gender, BMI, smoking, tropical journeys and number of household members during childhood resulted in an even higher (adjusted) OR of 1.98 (95% CI 1.42-2.69). In multiple logistic regression analysis adjusting for variables shown to be confounders, faecal contact continued to be significantly associated with H. pylori infection. Attributable risk was 49.5 %.

                Conclusions: H. pylori infection is an occupational risk in healthcare workers working in institutions for people with intellectual disability. We identified faecal contact as an independent occupational risk factor for H. pylori infection.

                • <it>Helicobacter pylori<I>
                • epidemiology
                • healthcare worker
                • institutions for people with intellectual disability
                • occupational risk

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