Helicobacter pylori, Latent Toxoplasmosis, Cognitive Function, adults


Helicobacter pylori and latent toxoplasmosis are widespread diseases that have been associated with cognitive deficits and Alzheimer’s disease. We sought to determine whether interactions between Helicobacter pylori and latent toxoplasmosis, age, race-ethnicity, educational attainment, economic status, and general health predict cognitive function in young and middle-aged adults. To do so, we used multivariable regression and multivariate models to analyze data obtained from the United States’ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can be weighted to represent the US population. In this sample, we found that 31.6 percent of women and 36.2 percent of men of the overall sample had IgG Antibodies against Helicobacter pylori, although the seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori varied with sociodemographic variables. There were no main effects for Helicobacter pylori or latent toxoplasmosis for any of the cognitive measures in models adjusting for age, sex, race-ethnicity, educational attainment, economic standing, and self-rated health predicting cognitive function. However, interactions between Helicobacter pylori and race-ethnicity, educational attainment, latent toxoplasmosis in the fully adjusted models predicted cognitive function. People seropositive for both Helicobacter pylori and latent toxoplasmosis – both of which appear to be common in the general population – appear to be more susceptible to cognitive deficits than are people seropositive for either Helicobacter pylori and or latent toxoplasmosis alone, suggesting a synergistic effect between these two infectious diseases on cognition in young to middle-aged adults.

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