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Study Finds Increased Risk for Heart Attack with Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

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Santa Clara, CAAccording to new research, a group of drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) may increase the risk for heart attacks by 16-21 percent. The findings are the result of a novel data-mining project undertaken by researchers at Standford University.

PPIs, such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, are among the most widely used drugs in the world, with an estimated 113 million prescriptions for PPIs written annually, the study reports. In the US alone, some 21 million people used one or more prescription PPIS just in 2009. PPIs are used to treat heartburn. They are also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers in the stomach and small intestine, and inflammation of the esophagus.

The Stanford researchers combined data from 16 million electronic health records of 2.9 million patients in two separate databases. Due to the design of the study, the researchers were unable to show cause and effect between the PPIs and myocardial infarction or heart attack. However, they did state that if the technology they used had been available earlier, "such pharmacovigilance algorithms could have flagged this risk as early as the year 2000."

According to Nicholas J. Leeper, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine and vascular surgery at Stanford and one of the paper’s authors, the link between PPIs and heart attacks is strong enough that "we do think patients should think about their risks and benefits and should discuss their risk with their doctors." The danger extends to people outside high-risk groups, such as the elderly, they report. PPIs have also been linked to an increase risk for hip fracture.

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My son has been sick all of his life and stomach problems is one of them acid reflux among others nexium has prescribed for one of the problems

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