Department of Gastroenterology, Nagoya Kyoritsu Hospital, Nagoya, Japan,
Background: The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in Indonesia has been reported to be exceedingly low. The purpose of our study was to confirm whether this is the case in Northern Jakarta using a sensitive 13C-urea breath test (UBT), and to examine any associations with lifestyle/environment factors and potential routes of transmission. Methods: We recruited a total of 196 subjects from a low-income community in Northern Jakarta, Indonesia, data from 193 who completed a questionnaire about their lifestyle/environment and had UBT being included as the final. Odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for sex and age with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a logistic regression model. Results: The overall H. pylori infection rate was 15.0% (95%CI, 10.3-20.9), with variation among Javanese (9.1%, total=77), Buginese (40.0%, 35), Betawi (9.1%, 33), Sundanese (3.7%, 27), and Batak (40.0%, 5). On multivariate analysis, the ORs for intake of soybean milk, cucumber more than once a week, infrequent hand washing practice before meals, and alcohol consumption were 0.10 (95%CI: 0.01-0.97), 6.61 (95%CI: 1.87-23.3), 4.10 (95%CI: 1.15-14.6), and 61.9 (95%CI: 1.67-2300.8), respectively. Rates for Buginese (OR=7.84; 95%CI: 1.82-33.8) and Batak (OR=20.1; 95%CI: 1.90-213.2) were significantly higher than for Javanese. Conclusions: The H. pylori infection rate in this study was relatively low, in line with previous studies. Regarding ethnicity factors, Buginese and Batak reported eating food using fingers more frequently than Javanese, Betawi, and Sundanese. Our study indicated that person-person transmission is possible in this low prevalence area. The low infection rates for H. pylori among Javanese, Betawi, and Sundanese ethnics could be partly due to their sanitary practices.