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Can eradicating a common stomach bug make taking aspirin safer?
Date:3/26/2012

through bleeding, and in the same year, stomach ulcers saw almost 13,000 people admitted to hospital in England, at an estimated cost to the NHS of more than 10,000 per patient.

Previous studies have suggested that low dose aspirin is more likely to cause ulcer bleeding in patients infected with H. pylori. An endoscopy study revealed that patients with the bug were five-times more at risk of developing a stomach ulcer than their H. pylori-free counterparts. The new HEAT trial will cover a geographical area covering almost half the population of England, with the hope that GPs will identify in the region of 120,000 people who could potentially take part and invite them to participate in the study.

The research team expect to hear back from around 40,000 patients, around one-quarter of whom are likely to already be infected by the H. pylori bacterium, diagnosed through a simple breath test.

Infected patients will either be given a course of medication aimed at eradicating the infection or a placebo, while continuing to take their aspirin, and will be followed up by the research team over a period of two to three years to establish whether the patient has gone on to develop a stomach ulcer after receiving the treatment.

At the end of the trial, the team will compare the results to establish whether those who received the medication developed fewer stomach ulcers and gastric bleeds than those who received the placebo.

The study will allow them to more accurately establish whether eliminating H. pylori in patients taking aspirin reduces the risk of serious medical complications due to stomach ulcers and bleeds and reduces the multi-million pound burden on the NHS through treating them.


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Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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