Drug taken for common condition linked to 33% higher risk of dementia

The medication has been previously linked to higher risk of stroke, broken bones and kidney disease ...

WALES ONLINE – Long term use of a type of acid reflux drug increases the risk of dementia by a third, warns new research.

Scientists found that people who take proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, for four and a half years or more were 33 per cent more likely to develop the debilitating condition.

Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows into the esophagus, usually after eating or when lying down.

People with acid reflux may experience heartburn and ulcers, while those who suffer frequent bouts of acid reflux may develop gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which can lead to cancer of the esophagus.

GERD is a very common condition, with up to 40 per cent of the UK population experiencing regular heartburn. PPIs reduce stomach acid by targeting the enzymes in the stomach lining that produce it.

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“Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the most commonly used drugs in the world, with around 15 million people in the U.S. taking them annually.”

But the medication has been previously linked to higher risk of stroke, broken bones and kidney disease.

The American research team, whose findings were published in the journal Neurology, say the study does not prove that acid reflux drugs cause dementia; it only shows an association.

Study author Professor Kamakshi Lakshminarayan said:

“Proton pump inhibitors are a useful tool to help control acid reflux, however long-term use has been linked in previous studies to a higher risk of stroke, bone fractures and chronic kidney disease.

“Still, some people take these drugs regularly, so we examined if they are linked to a higher risk of dementia. While we did not find a link with short-term use, we did find a higher risk of dementia associated with long-term use of these drugs.”

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  • Nexium
  • Dexilant
  • Protonix
  • Prevacid
  • Prilosec

The study included more than 5,700 people, age 45 and older, who did not have dementia at the start of the study. The participants had an average age of 75 …



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