Individuals taking proton inhibitors are at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease than those who don’t use these drugs, according to a new study.
In the past, studies have uncovered that the use of PPIs increases the risk to have acute interstitial nephritis, a form of kidney inflammation. The association is worrisome because tens of millions of people a year take these pills.
For this study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins analyzed two large sets of data to examine the connection between PPI use and kidney disease in the general population.
In this survey, investigators used data on self-reported proton inhibitors use among more than 10,000 people taking part in national study on atherosclerosis. The scientists also evaluated data on outpatient PPI prescriptions among nearly 250,000 patients of a health care system in Pennsylvania.
In both groups, researchers associated use of the acid reflux drugs with an increased risk of chronic disease over 10 years. The analysis found that PPI use increased risk of chronic kidney disease in both sets, although PPI users were also more likely to be overweight or on medication to lower blood pressure.
The experts believe these study findings are due to a couple of theories. Firstly, the medications can cause magnesium levels to decline and a lack of this mineral could damage the kidneys. Secondly, the bean-shaped organs might become damaged over time if patients suffer repeated acute kidney inflammation due to proton pump inhibitors.
Proton pump inhibitors, act by blocking the H+/K+ ATPase enzyme, are used to relieve symptoms of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This class of drugs is also the drug of choice for treating peptic and stomach ulcers.
PPIs work by reducing the amount of hydrochloric acid secreted by parietal cells in the epithelial lining of the stomach. On the contrary, antacids work by neutralizing excess acid after it has entered the stomach. IMAGE/Corbis