Heartburn drugs increase risk of early death, says study

heartburn-drugs-increase-risk-of-early-death-says-studyThe proton-pump inhibitors include a 25% increase in the risk of early death; suggest the British Medical Journal Open research published on Monday.

This study did not examine proton-pump inhibitors over-the-counter or particular prescription-strength drugs brands.

The drugs, referred to as PPIs, suppress in the stomach excess acid. Generally, prescription formulas are given to patients suffering with severe conditions for long periods, while the lower-dose formulas over-the-counter are approved for short-term use only by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The researchers reveal that the study does not prove cause and effect. Previous research has showed that proton-pump inhibitors have an increased risk of poor health, say, senior author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of the Washington University School of Medicine. “Few other studies also reported that use of this drug is associated with adverse events including kidney disease, pneumonia, fractures, dementia, C. diff infections and cardiovascular disease,” he said.

Al-Aly and his co-authors “asked: Does that have an increased risk of death?” To answer it, they looked at Veterans Affairs data of the national US Department of about 3.5 million people.

“The VA has the largest integrated electronic medical record system,” said Al-Aly. “This enabled us to look at more patients and to follow them up for nearly six years to examine our research questions.”

The team took proton-pump inhibitors with another drug type reducing stomach acid. It is found that the PPIs used by patients for a longer period means there is higher risk of early death.

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