A statistical analysis of 73,679 individuals aged ≥75 years showed a 44% increased risk of dementia in those who regularly used proton pump inhibitors (PPI), compared to those who did not take PPIs. In total, 2,950 of the 73,679 patients developed dementia during the study period. The full study is published online by JAMA Neurology.

The findings come from a prospective cohort study by researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, who analyzed data from 2004–2011 on inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and drug prescription to examine any association between the use of PPIs and the risk of dementia. They evaluated patient exposure to omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole, and rabeprazole.

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The primary outcome was a diagnosis of incident dementia. Researchers used a time-dependent Cox regression to analyze the association between PPI use and dementia. The model was also adjusted for potential confounding factors such as age, sex, comorbidities and polypharmacy.

Study findings suggest avoiding PPIs may prevent the development of dementia. However, authors noted that their findings are restricted due to the limited number of other possible dementia risk factors that were considered in the data. “To evaluate and establish direct cause and effect relationships between PPI use and incident dementia in the elderly, randomized, prospective clinical trials are needed,” concluded study authors.

For more information visit archneur.jamanetwork.com.