Some Heartburn Drugs may Boost Risk of Heart Attack

STANFORD, Calif. – A new study from Stanford University is suggesting that some heartburn drugs can boost the risk of heart attack.

The findings are published in the June edition of PLOS One.

The results of a large data-mining study has linked proton-pump inhibitors, or PPIs, to an elevated risk of heart attack. These are among the world’s most widely prescribed drugs and rake in about $14 billion in annual sales.

While they are effective in lowering stomach acidity, they actually are detrimental to the heart.

PPIs ares sold under brand names such as Prilosec, which has the generic name omeprazole, for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

While the study found the connection, it does not state that PPIs are the sole cause of heart problems, but because of the data, researchers are suggesting the medical community should become concerned about the over-the-counter availability of these drugs.

They show that PPI use can be associated with a 20 percent increase in subsequent heart-attack risk among all adult users, even excluding those who also are taking clopidogrel.

When looking at incidences of stroke and cardiac arrest among PPI users, the researchers determined users more than doubled their risk of suffering a major cardiovascular event.

They also noted that heartburn drugs known as H2 blockers showed no association with elevated heart-attack risk.

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