Pneumonia risk higher with acid suppressors

USING proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine2 receptor antagonists increases the risk of developing pneumonia, a meta-analysis suggests.

In a review of 31 studies, Canadian researchers showed that people who used PPIs and histamine2 receptor antagonists had around a 25% higher risk of developing the illness.

The two acid-suppressive drugs were associated with higher risks of both community-acquired and hospital-acquired pneumonia. 

PPIs increased the risk of community-acquired disease by 34%.

Subgroup analysis of the studies, which included case control, cohort and randomised controlled trials, showed higher doses of PPIs increased the risk of pneumonia by 52% compared with a 37% increase with the usual doses.

People who had used PPIs for only a week had nearly a fourfold increased risk of pneumonia compared with those who had used PPIs for between one and six months.

“Clinicians should carefully

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