Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

Do you have acid reflux? Members of my family, most of my friends, and I have used proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs whenever we developed acid reflux issues. Patients who regularly use PPIs may be at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to research published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The authors suggest the widely used drugs might be part of the reason CKD prevalence has risen faster than would be expected from the trends in known CKD risk factors, such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension. The authors note that the risk appears to be tied to PPI use itself and not the underlying causes of PPI uses.  Other drugs, such as histamine¬2 receptor antagonists, are also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, but did not show similar effects.

The authors also note that several study limitations, including that participants who are prescribed PPIs, may be at higher risk of CKD for reasons unrelated to their PPI use.

"We note that our study is observational and does not provide evidence of causality. However, a causal relationship between PPI use and CKD could have a considerable public health effect given the widespread extent of use. More than 15 million Americans used prescription PPIs in 2013, costing more than $10 billion. Study findings suggest that up to 70 percent of these prescriptions are without indication and that 25 percent of long-term PPI users could discontinue therapy without developing symptoms. Indeed, there are already calls for the reduction of unnecessary use of PPIs," the study concludes.

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