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  • 1 Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2 Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria
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Helicobacter pylori positivity was assessed among 656 symptomatic children in 2010–2017. Overall infection prevalence was 24.5% and a significantly higher rate was detected in girls (28.5%) compared to boys (20.0%). Moreover, in children with duodenal ulcer, H. pylori prevalence was higher (47.4%) compared with the rest (23.9%). On the contrary, the infection was detected 1.9-fold less frequently in patients with GERD (14.5%) compared with the other (27.0%) patients and 2.1-fold less often in the presence of duodenogastric reflux (bile) reflux (13.0%) compared with the absence of the reflux (27.0%). No significant difference was observed between the younger (aged ≤7 years, 20.0%) and the older (aged 8–18 years, 25.5%) patients. H. pylori infection rate in Bulgarian pediatric patients between 2010 and 2017 was 2.5-fold lower than that in 1996–2006. In conclusion, H. pylori infection is still an important concern for Bulgarian children, although having decreased by about 1.8%/yearly over 21 years. This study reveals the importance of H. pylori diagnostics even in the youngest symptomatic children and demonstrates an inverse association between either GERD or bile reflux and H. pylori infection.

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