Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is the most common chronic bacterial infection in humans. Its prevalence in Omani adults and children is not known. Objective: To report histology-based H. pylori infection prevalence in Omani children. Methods: A retrospective study of biopsy proven H. pylori infection in children over a 3 year period in a single center. Age, gender, indication for endoscopy, history of recurrent abdominal pain, and anemia were compared between H. pylori-positive and negative children. Results: Of 143 patients who underwent endoscopy, gastric biopsies were available on 112. The overall prevalence of biopsy proven H. pylori infection was 25%. The prevalence in children with recurrent abdominal pain was 30% compared to 22% in children who underwent endoscopy for other indications (p =.382). The prevalence increased from 7% in children aged <5 years, to 33% in those aged between 5 and 10 years (p =.010). There was no significant difference in the prevalence between the 5-10 years age group (33%) and older age group (29%) (p =.814). There was no significant difference in gender or anemia between the two groups. Conclusions: This study represents the first reported study on the prevalence of biopsy proven H. pylori infection in Omani children. H. pylori infection prevalence is 25%, is lower than regional and many Arab countries. The prevalence appears to increase till age of 5 years. There was no significant association between H. pylori and recurrent abdominal pain, gender, or anemia.
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