Acid Reflux Drugs Tied to Higher Kidney Disease Risk

Drugs used to reduce stomach acid may also increase a person's risk of developing kidney disease, according to a new study led by the Johns Hopkins University.

The drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are commonly used worldwide to relieve symptoms of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). They are also prescribed for treating peptic or stomach ulcers and damage to the lower esophagus caused by acid reflux.

Researchers analyzed data from two large studies and determined that in both cases, the risk of developing kidney disease was somewhat higher for those taking PPIs at the beginning of the study than for those not taking the medications--about 12 percent compared to 8.5 percent in one study and 15.6 percent to 13.9 percent in the second.

The scientists noted that they found no cause and effect connection between taking PPIs and kidney disease, and acknowledged that those who were prescribed PPIs may have been at higher risk of chronic kidney disease for reasons unrelated to their PPI use.

But they suggested that given the widespread use of PPIs, more research should be done to further investigate any possible connection.

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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Stomach acid drugs linked to chronic kidney disease