Association between thyroid autoimmunity and Helicobacter pylori infection

Often vaguely suggested, rarely reported. Of course, this only applies on the other side of the world...

Korean J Intern Med. 2017 Jan 16. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2014.369. [Epub ahead of print]

Association between thyroid autoimmunity and Helicobacter pylori infection.

Choi YM1, Kim TY1, Kim EY2, Jang EK1, Jeon MJ1, Kim WG1, Shong YK1, Kim WB1.

Author information

1Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

2Department of Internal Medicine, Dongnam Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Busan, Korea.



There have been controversial reports linking Helicobacter pylori infection to autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). However, data regarding the relationship are limited for Asian populations, which have an extremely high prevalence of H. pylori infection. We performed this study to investigate the association between H. pylori infection and AITD in Koreans.


This study involved adults aged 30 to 70 years who had visited a health promotion center. A total of 5,502 subjects were analysed. Thyroid status was assessed by free thyroxine, thyroid stimulating hormone, and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO-Ab). Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to H. pylori were measured as an indication of H. pylori infection. We compared the prevalence of TPO-Ab in subjects with and without H. pylori infection.


H. pylori IgG antibodies were found in 2,875 subjects (52.3%), and TPO-Ab were found in 430 (7.8%). Individuals positive for H. pylori Ab were older than those negative for H. pylori Ab (p < 0.01). The proportion of females was significantly higher in the TPO-Ab positive group (41.0% vs. 64.2%, p < 0.01). Prevalence of TPO-Ab positivity was higher in subjects with H. pylori infection (8.6% vs. 7.00%, p = 0.03), and this association was significant after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.03; p = 0.04).


In our study, prevalence of TPO-Ab positivity is more frequent in subjects with H. pylori infection. Our findings suggest H. pylori infection may play a role in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis.


Autoimmunity; Helicobacter pylori; Thyroid

PMID: 28092700

DOI: 10.3904/kjim.2014.369

11 Replies

  • Interesting I wonder how many of us who have thyroid problems on here have had H pylori? I have had it and was treated for it,a lot of people don't know they have it.

  • How would you find out, or think you had it apart from the blood test?

    My mother died of stomach cancer and had pains in her stomach that she never bothered to insist about being investigated a lot sooner because she trusted the doctor and he told her it was only indigestion. I kept telling her to query it but she refused.

    I know there is a link between H.Pilori and this cancer.

  • I had it twice, in fact lots of the population have H Pylori and are never bothered by it or never get to find out they have it.

    My digestion changed, where I was burping a lot and I just knew there was something going on.

    A breath test is supposed to be quite reliable. I eradicated it the 2nd time I got it with Oregano Oil Capsules, Mastic Gum and Manuka Honey.

    The Triple Therapy, which is normally prescribed failed to clear it up when I first got it.

    J 🍀

  • If you are in the U.K. and saw it, there was a TV programme a few years ago where doctors go out into the streets when anyone can go and see them in their mobile surgery.

    I remember a woman going to ask about pains in her inside and she was sent for a blood test that resulted in her having this infection. After treatment she was fine. This programme was where I first heard of it, so it has to be more than 10 years ago because my mom died in 2007.

  • It can lead to ulcers apparently. Did you ever google how they look, I just wanted them gone. Like wee bugs with long screwy tails. 🐉.

  • Eeewww!

  • omg, I have been having a pain in my side for about two years...I THINK i was checked for this, but going to look through my medical notes and check! Thanks

  • I had a few problems with my stomach so doctor sent me for blood test, that's how I found out I had it, guess I was lucky the doc I had at time was on the ball.Ive also heard that there's a connection to cancer but not sure if there is proof of that.sorry to hear about your mum it's hard to loose a parent. I lost my dad to stomach cancer too.

  • Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, it's a horrible way to leave this World.

    My own dad just dropped dead with grief right in front of me 3 weeks after my mom. I had gone up to stay with him while we waited to have her funeral, he never made it to that by 2 days. The funeral had been delayed because my sisters son was on holiday and he wanted to be there. It was a terrible time altogether and I can't believe it was so long ago now.

  • 🙏

  • How awful for you and your family,but time is a great healer

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