Long-Term PPI Use Linked to Pneumonia Risk in Older Adults

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Rate of incident pneumonia increased in second year after initiating treatment with proton pump inhibitors.

HealthDay News — Among older adults in primary care, use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is associated with greater risk of pneumonia in the second year of treatment, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Jan Zirk-Sadowski, Ph.D., from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed associations between long-term use of PPIs and pneumonia incidence. The analysis included 75,050 older adults (≥60 years) who were in primary care and had been receiving PPIs for at least one year and 75,050 age- and sex-matched controls.

The researchers found that during the second year after initiating treatment, PPIs were associated with greater hazard of incident pneumonia (prior event rate ratio-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.82), accounting for pretreatment pneumonia rates. Across age and comorbidity subgroups, estimates were similar.

“Controversies about the validity of reported short-term harms of PPIs should not divert attention from potential long-term effects of PPI prescriptions on older adults,” the authors write.

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One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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