Researchers in the United States have found that the practice of testing and treating H.Pylori has steadily increased over the past 14 years. However, they suggested that patients with confirmed peptic ulcer disease should be tested for Helicobacter Pylori(H.Pylori) infection rather than receiving treatment for the infection as a matter of course. Testing was a more appropriate option than empiric treatment in patients with peptic ulcer disease, as the prevalence of H.Pylori was found to be only 36 percent.
For the study, the investigators identified 3,317 patients clinically diagnosed with peptic ulcers from 1984 through 1997. Out of this, a stratified random sample of 720 was chosen from the complete medical records of age, sex and calendar year. In this sample, there were 298(41%), who had confirmed peptic ulcer disease. Logistic regression was used to analyse changes in proportions of H.Pylori testing, infection and treatment over time. It was found that out of the 32% subjects with the disease who were tested for H.Pylori, 36% were found to have the infection and 66% of these were given antibiotic therapy. They also found that rate of testing for the infection increased from zero in 1984 to 96 per cent in 1997, while the prevalence remained the same at 36.4 versus 36.5 per cent. Also, an increase of 95 per cent from zero was seen, in the rate of treatment for those with H.Pylori.