Study: PPIs for heartburn linked to increased risk of kidney disease
- Evidence from various studies suggests that use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec, Prevacid, and Zegerid may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
- In a retrospective study, in which researchers looked at data from 10,482 individuals they found that over a 10-year period, the risk of developing CKD was 11.8% among PPI users, compared with 8.5% among nonusers.
- Although researchers are not sure precisely what the underlying link is between PPIs and CKD, previous research has demonstrated a link between PPIs and inflammation of the kidneys—interstitial nephritis.
While there is an increased risk of CKD in individuals taking PPIs, based on various studies, it would not be such a major concern if fewer patients relied on PPIs. However, tens of millions of people take PPIs, which are readily available over the counter.
Another complicating factor is that individuals with heart disease are also at increased risk fo CKD and often people with heart disease have other problems, such as chronic heartburn.
The takeaway message is that PPIs have been perceived of as mainly harmless, without a serious adverse event profile; however, as in other cases, physicians should counsel patients on the risks versus benefits of PPIs—and emphasize that not every person who has heartburn or indigestion needs to take a PPI.