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More evidence of PPI and pneumonia link

By Christian Duffin

A new study provides further evidence that patients using proton pump inhibitors are at increased risk of pneumonia, according to Dutch researchers.

The risk was three times higher among those who had initiated PPI treatment less than 30 days beforehand compared with controls. The study compared characteristics of 430 adults admitted to two Dutch hospitals with community-acquired pneumonia with 1,720 patients in a population control group drawn from a national database.

The researchers identified prescriptions for omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole and esomeprazole issued in the six months prior to diagnosis. 2.8%, of the 430 adults with pneumonia had used PPI, compared with 0.9% of non-users. Neither gastrointestinal nor oropharyngeal bacteria were more present in patients using a PPI compared to those not.

Lead researcher Dr Sabine Meijvis, a resident in internal medicine at the St Antonius Hospital in, Nieuwegein concluded: ‘After adjusting for co-morbidities, age, sex and pnuemonia severity score, recent PPI initiation was independently associated with intensive care unit admission, although this was a small patient group.’

Eur Respir J 2011, published early online 8 May

Proton-pump inhibitor