A new and massive research study (covering 6 million people) links the use of common heartburn medication (such as Nexium) with an increased risk of death.
These types of medications are called “proton pump inhibitors” or “PPI”. As such, they are designed to “inhibit” the proton pumps in the stomach.
We now know from recent research in the past 10 years that proton pumps don’t just exist in the stomach, but also in the heart muscles as well as the brain.
This means that when we take PPIs which inhibit proton pumps, we’re reducing the activity of those proton pumps in the heart and brain as well, which could well be a main contributor to the increased risk of death.
This study found a 25% increased risk of death within a 5 year period in people utilization PPIs.
In fact, the risk increased the more people used it: people who took PPIs for 2 years had a 50% increased risk of death.
Yes, this is an observational study, and more research needs to be done on this. However, research has also shown that up to 70% of people prescribed such medications don’t really need them.
In addition, other studies have linked such medications with increased risk in a variety of diseases, including kidney disease and bacterial infections.