Background: The Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research has studied Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) prevalence since 1998 and found a dynamic change in its prevalence in Korea. The aim of this study was to determine the recent H. pylori prevalence rate and compare it with that of previous studies according to socioeconomic variables. Methods: We planned to enroll 4920 asymptomatic Korean adults from 21 centers according to the population distribution of seven geographic areas (Seoul, Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Chungcheong, Kyungsang, Cholla, and Jeju). We centrally collected serum and tested H. pylori serum IgG using a chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. Results: We analyzed 4917 samples (4917/4920 = 99.9%) from January 2015 to December 2016. After excluding equivocal serologic results, the H. pylori seropositivity rate was 51.0% (2414/4734). We verified a decrease in H. pylori seroprevalence compared with previous studies performed in 1998, 2005, and 2011 (P <.0001). The H. pylori seroprevalence rate differed by area: Cholla (59.5%), Chungcheong (59.2%), Kyungsang (55.1%), Jeju (54.4%), Gangwon (49.1%), Seoul (47.4%), and Gyeonggi (44.6%). The rate was higher in those older than 40 years (38.1% in those aged 30-39 years and 57.7% in those aged 40-49 years) and was lower in city residents than in noncity residents at all ages. Conclusions: Helicobacter pylori seroprevalence in Korea is decreasing and may vary according to population characteristics. This trend should be considered to inform H. pylori-related policies.
- Helicobacter pylori