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Common Drugs For Heartburn May Cause Stomach Cancer And Heart Disease

According to new researches, the drugs which are commonly used for heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux may lead to severe conditions like stomach cancer and heart diseases.

Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPI’s are commonly used by physicians in the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions where there is an excess production of acid. Nexium, Zegerid, Aciphex, Dexilant, Prilosec and Prevacid are the names of some of the brands coming under PPI’s. As per recent statistics, about 15 million US people are taking prescription PPI’s and the number of people taking over-the-counter medicines may be even more. The senior investigator of this research is assistant professor of medicine at the Washington University School of medicine, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly.

To conduct the study data was gathered from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Data was taken between the mid of 2002 to 2004 and during this period almost 157,625 people had taken PPI prescriptions from their doctors and 56,842 people had taken H2 blockers which was another type of acid suppressant. These people were monitored by the scientists for a decade and the majority was Caucasian males who were about the age of 65 years or more. Then a statistical model of the clinical trial was developed. It was estimated that taking 1,000 people there would be excess 45.2 deaths per 1,000 taking PPI’s. These findings found an association with stomach cancer, chronic kidney ailments and cardiovascular diseases.

As per the model the death rate associated with cardiovascular diseases in the PPI group was estimated as 88.7 for every 1,000 and estimated as 73.3 for every 1,000 for the H2 blocker category. The deaths associated with stomach cancer in the PPI group were 4.3 for every 1000 and was 4.6 in the H2 blocker category. There were 8.6 deaths for every 1000 associated with chronic kidney ailments in case of PPI group and the rate was 4.4 in H2 blocker category.

Dr. Al- Aly said that most of the people who were taking PPI’s did not actually need them and unnecessarily taking these may cause severe harm to their bodies. He said that their study suggested that PPI’s should not be taken unnecessarily and even when taken, they have to be taken in limited dose and for a shorter time period.

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