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Long-term PPI use leads to patients gaining weight

By Mark Pownall

Patients taking proton pump inhibitors for long term reflux disease increase their body weight by an average of 3.5kg compared with age and sex matched controls, according to a Japanese study.

The study followed 52 patients taking long term PPIs for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease over a mean 2.2 years and compared them with a similar number of age and sex-matched controls.

Those taking PPIs increased their body weight by a mean 3.5kg, with 71% of patients increasing their body weight and only 12% reducing their weight. The mean increase in weight represented 6.2% of the baseline body weight. There was also a significant increase in BMI over the period of the study from a mean of 23.1 to 24.

There were no such increases in the control group. There were no significant differences in blood pressure and lipids before and after long term PPI treatment.

The researchers suggest that the improvement in symptoms following therapy may increase appetite, and allow patients to eat more.

‘Reflux patients treated with a daily maintenance therapy of PPI should be strongly encouraged to manage their body weight through lifestyle modifications such as proper diet and avoidance of overeating,' they say.

World Journal of Gastroenterology 2009 15(38): 4794-4798.

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