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Increased Mortality Risk with Proton Pump Inhibitors

HeartburnA recent cohort study published in BMJ on May 30, 2019 has raised some alarming insights into the contraindications of PPIs. This long-term observational study on PPIs was carried out over a ten year period with US veterans. The in-depth study used extensive data from the Department of Veterans Affairs databases. All of the veterans studied were enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare program, which is responsible for the care of over 9 million veterans. The researchers also used the National Death Index data to analyze mortality and cause of death.

The findings clearly illustrate that long-term use of acid suppression drugs (PPIs) have negative health implications. The predominance of adverse events including all-cause mortality significantly increased with those at risk of specific health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and upper gastrointestinal cancer.

Improper closure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) can result in stomach acid entering the esophagus. Acid reflux is commonly referred to as “heartburn” and can cause considerable discomfort behind the chest and even damage the lining of the esophagus. To rectify this situation people turn to acid suppression drugs like PPIs. It's estimated that 15 million people in the US take Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs).

Medical professionals and patients are urged to increase vigilance and adherence to using PPIs for the minimum duration necessary.

 

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