A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases has found that infants and children who take acid-reducing medications could have a significantly greater risk of developing Clostridium difficile infection compared to matched controls.

Daniel E. Freedberg, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), and colleagues sought to assess the risk of C. diff in children with no known risk factors and who recently took proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs). Data from the Health Improvement Network, a database of electronic health records in the United Kingdom, were reviewed from 1995–2014 for cases of C. diff in children without chronic conditions associated with the infection. Recent use of PPIs/H2RAs was compared to five age- and sex-matched controls without C. diff infection.

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Of the children diagnosed with C. diff infection, 2.6% had used PPIs/H2RAs within 90 days vs. only 0.3% of the controls. The researchers believe that like antibiotics, use of medications for acid suppression may increase the risk of C. diff infections via alteration of the gastrointestinal microbiome.

For more information visit CUMC.Columbia.edu.