Date published: January 1, 2011
Journal code: INHR
In a case-control study conducted in Boston, 63,878 patients who were hospitalized for three days or more were assessed in order to determine whether proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) raised the risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia. The risk of complications attributed to taking PPI's is unclear, but some studies have suggested a risk of communityacquired pneumonia in patients taking these agents, which are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
Of those patients admitted to hospitals, about half receive some form of acid-suppressing medications, most commonly PPI's. Of 63,878 patients evaluated, 27,000 received PPI's.
About 0.9 percent of hospital-acquired pneumonia could be attributed to PPI use, according to the authors. Although this risk seems relatively low, the study authors calculated that PPI use might be associated with 33,000 preventable deaths.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2010.)