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Millions of people popping common heartburn and indigestion pills could be at an increased risk of kidney failure, suggests a recent analysis. The study found that individuals who used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce gastric acid production, had a 33% increased relative risk of developing chronic kidney disease or kidney failure when compared with non-users. Previous studies showed a link between use of heartburn pills and kidney damage and even fractures.
To investigate, Charat Thongprayoon and his colleagues conducted an analysis of published studies that reported the risk of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure among PPI users compared with non-users. Five studies with 536,902 participants met the eligibility criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Individuals who used PPIs had a 33% increased relative risk of CKD or kidney failure when compared with non-users.
Thongprayoon noted that this study demonstrated a significant association between the use of PPIs and increased risks of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. “Although no causal relationship has been proven, providers should consider whether PPI therapy is indicated for patients. Chronic use of PPIs should be avoided if not really indicated,” he added. The findings are presented at ASN Kidney Week 2017 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.
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