Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that longtime use of the drugs also is associated with an increased risk of death.
Millions of U.S. residents take proton pump inhibitors which are widely prescribed to treat heartburn, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. The drugs also are available over the counter under brand names that include Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.
For the study, the researchers examined medical the 1 last update 2020/06/01 records of some 275,000 users of PPIs and nearly 75,000 people who took another class of drugs -- known as H2 blockers -- to reduce stomach acid. The research is published online July 3 in the journal BMJ Open.For the study, the researchers examined medical records of some 275,000 users of PPIs and nearly 75,000 people who took another class of drugs -- known as H2 blockers -- to reduce stomach acid. The research is published online July 3 in the journal BMJ Open.
"" said senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, an assistant professor of medicine. ""
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PPIs have become one of the most commonly used classes of drugs in the United States with 15 million monthly prescriptions in 2015 for Nexium alone, according to WebMD.
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A kidney doctor by profession, Al-Aly has previously published studies linking PPIs to kidney disease, and other researchers have shown an association with other health problems. Al-Aly, first author Yan Xie, PhD, a data scientist, and colleagues reasoned that since each of these side effects carries a small risk of death, together they may affect the mortality rate of PPI users.
To find out, the researchers sifted through millions of de-identified veterans''s Healthcare Hypertension