Helicobacter pylori prevalence is elevated in German submarine crews and in United States Navy (USN) surface fleet personnel, but H. pylori prevalence in USN submariners was unknown. The goal of the study was to determine the prevalence of H. pylori in the crews of USN nuclear submarines compared to other military personnel and to the general US population. The presence of H. pylori IgG antibodies was determined in serum samples using a commercial ELISA. Only 47 out of 451 submariners (9·4%) were H. pylori positive, which is similar to that of the US general population with a similar level of education. In contrast, H. pylori prevalence is significantly higher in US Army recruits (26%), USN surface fleet personnel (25%), and German diesel submariners (38%). These data demonstrate that submarine service (and by inference activity requiring isolation and close contact, per se) is not a risk factor for H. pylori infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health