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Heliobacter infection and the development of gastric cancer

An epidemiological study from Japan has just been published (New Eng J Med 2001; 345: 784-9) strongly linking heliobacter infection with the development of stomach/gastric cancer. 1526 Japanese patients with gastric or duodenal ulcer or gastritis were studied. 1246 had heliobacter infection and 280 did not. With a mean follow up of 7.8 years, 36 (2.9%) of the heliobacter infected patients developed gastric cancer whilst none of the others developed such a cancer.