Study finds increased mortality risk with PPI use

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Proton-pump inhibitor use is associated with increased mortality risk, finds a study in BMJ Open. Using data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, researchers examined health records of new users and nonusers of acid suppression therapy.

The authors write: “Although our results should not deter prescription and use of PPI where medically indicated, they may be used to encourage and promote pharmacovigilance and emphasize the need to exercise judicious use of PPI and limit use and duration of therapy to instances where there is a clear medical indication and where benefit outweighs potential risk.”

During a median 6 years’ follow-up, use of PPIs was associated with increased risk for death, relative to the use of H2 blockers (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.25). The risk was also increased among patients taking PPIs, compared with those not taking acid suppression therapy, and among those taking PPIs who did not have a gastrointestinal condition that would warrant a PPI prescription.

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