Janusz Jerzemowski

Academy of Physical Education and Sport, Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Gdańsk, Poland

 

THE INFLUENCE OF HELICOBACTER PYLORI INFECTION ON SELECTED PARAMETERS OF PERSONALITY AMONG MEN SUFFERING FROM ULCERS.

 

Key words: Helicobacter pylori, personality, psychical conditions

 

Summary

 

The aim of the work was to assess the influence of H pylori infection on selected personality parameters of patients suffering from duodenal ulcers who had a positive ureasic test for H pylori. The subjects consisted of 34 men aged between 20 and 32, with an average age 26,4. All of the subjects were hospitalized and after their endoscopic diagnosis they had a ureasic test for H pylori. The assessment of their emotional state of mind was undertaken using Cattells eight factor test and the assessment of their psychological state was determined by a questionnaire which contained possible symptoms, measured on a scale from 0 to 6.

The results from the psychological examination were compared with the results from a group of 34 patients suffering from a duodenal ulcer, one month after the H pylori bacteria had been eradicated. For the statistical examination the Chi square test was used to determine if there were any statistically significant differences between the two groups. Patients suffering from active duodenal ulcers show increased values of six parameters relating to their personality and psychological condition. The difference between the two groups of patients those with duodenal ulcers and H pylori and those one month after the eradication of H pylori - are statistically significant.

 

Introduction

 

For almost 80 years gastric and duodenal ulcers have been of interest not only to physicians but also to psychologists (5). Among the risk factors causing these illnesses, psychosocial factors are regarded as important, in addition to stress. As a result, it was believed that ulcer patients many have a particular type of personality. It is presently known that the cause of many illnesses of the digestive tract, and also of other illnesses, is Helicobacter (H pylori). In the case of duodenal ulcers, 95% of cases can be attributed to the presence of H pylori. It is also believed that H pylori is responsible for a general deterioration in the quality of life (1, 3, 5). The aim of the study was to assess the influence of H pylori infection on selected personality parameters of duodenal ulcer patients who had a positive ureasic test for H pylori.

 

Material and methods

 

The subjects consisted of 34 men aged between 20 32, with an average age of 26,4. All of the subjects were hospitalized and, after an endoscopic diagnosis, they had a ureasic test for H pylori. The assessment of their emotional state of mind was undertaken using Cattells eight factor test and the assessment of their psychological state was determined by a questionnaire which contained 15 possible symptoms, measured on a scale from 0 to 6.

The results from the psychological examinations were compared with the results from a group of 34 patients who suffered from a duodenal ulcer, one month after the H pylori bacteria had been eradicated. For the statistical examination the Chi square test was used to determine if there were any significant differences between the two groups.

The results are presented in Table 1.

Discussion

The analysis reveals significant differences between the groups for most of the parameters that were examined. These differences relate mainly to the ,,personality trait of suspicion and to the presence of anxiety. Less pronounced, but nonetheless statistically significant results, were found for two factors: auto-agression and strong emotional tension. The results show that patients with H pylori had a worse psychical condition.

The results suggest that patients with active ulcers and a positive test for H pylori have also increased anxiety, fearfulness and a worse psychological condition, which creates difficulties in the performance of their everyday duties and an over reaction to stressful situations. As a result, the quality of their life is lowered. The reaction of the human body to H pylori infection may take a general or a specific character. In the latter case, the consequence will be illness of the upper part of the digestive system. In the latter case, so many substances are produced as a result of H pylori infection that they cause symptoms to occur outside the digestive system. The increased production of cytokin and other cell mediators in the acute phase of infection, a decrease in the activity lipase lipoproteins, and lipid metabolism disturbances, may lead to irregularities in vasoconstrictions in different part of the body (2, 4, 6). As a result it may be the factor that causes the observed changes of the examined parameters, namely personality and psychical condition.

 

Conclusion:

1.     Patients suffering from active duodenal ulcers show increased values of six parameters concerning their personality and psychical condition.

2.     The differences between the two groups of patients with duodenal ulcers those with H pylori and those one month after the eradication of H pylori - are statistically significant.

 

 

Table 1. The comparison of results obtained by examining personality parameters and psychological condition.

 

Examined parameters

Meaning of parameters

Value of chi square

Statistical significance

Q 3ˉ

Disharmony of the personality

0,81

NS

C-

Disequilibrium of emotion

0,61

NS

L+

Suspiciousness

4,62

P <0,001

O+

Self aggression

2,01

P<0,05

Q4

Strong emotional tension

2,56

P<0,05

Nu

Anxiety manifest

3,85

P<0,01

Nj

Anxiety latent

3,07

P<0,01

Ng

Anxiety total

1,90

P<0,01

Psychological condition *

6,53

P<0,001

 

* Psychological condition included: care of health, autism, to isolate emotion, to perceive guilt, strong emotion, satisfaction high needless performance, decrease mood, hostility, suspiciousness, motor inhibition, deficiency cooperation with investigators, dullness, excitation, want domination and aggression, manner of emotion to defeat.

 

 

References:

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2.     Crabtree JE: Immune and inflammatory response to Helicobacter infection in Europe.Aliment Pharmacol. Ther., 2003;18(suppl):3-10.

3.     Glise H, Wiklund I.: Healthy-related quality of life and gastrointestinal disease. Eur J Gastroenterol. Hepatol., 2002, 17(suppl), 72-84.

4.     Hennekens CH.: Increasing burden of cardiovascular disease.Current knowledge and future directions for research on risk factors.Circulation 1998;97,1095-1102.

5.     Luban-Plozza B, Poldinger W.: In ,,Psychosomatic Disorders in General Practice. Ed. Roche,Basle, 1974:54-56.

6.     OConnor H, Sebastian S.: The burden of Helicobacter pylori infection in Europe. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther., 2003;18(suppl): 3, 38-44.