Long-Term PPI Use Linked to Pneumonia Risk in Older Adults

Rate of incident pneumonia increased in second year after initiating treatment with proton pump inhibitors
Rate of incident pneumonia increased in second year after initiating treatment with proton pump inhibitors

(HealthDay News) — Among older adults in primary care, use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is associated with greater risk of pneumonia in the second year of treatment, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Jan Zirk-Sadowski, Ph.D., from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed associations between long-term use of PPIs and pneumonia incidence. The analysis included 75,050 older adults (≥60 years) who were in primary care and had been receiving PPIs for at least one year and 75,050 age- and sex-matched controls.

The researchers found that during the second year after initiating treatment, PPIs were associated with greater hazard of incident pneumonia (prior event rate ratio-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.82), accounting for pretreatment pneumonia rates. Across age and comorbidity subgroups, estimates were similar.

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"Controversies about the validity of reported short-term harms of PPIs should not divert attention from potential long-term effects of PPI prescriptions on older adults," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text