Health

Taking Acid Reflux Meds Linked to Higher Risk of Stomach Cancer

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A [new study published in the British Medical Journal’s Gut A new study has found that taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a group of drugs commonly used to treat heartburn, is linked to a more than doubled risk of developing stomach cancer.

PPIs reduce the amount of acid made by the stomach,, which is useful to patients who need to treat acid reflux and stomach ulcers; however, there are rising doubts about its safety, despite it being taken by millions of Americans each year.

Researchers now claim that those who use PPI regularly (on a long-term basis) have a 2.4 times higher chance of being diagnosed with stomach cancer than those who don’t. Daily use was also proven to be four times (4.55) more lethal than weekly use. Then, the use of it for a year increased chances by five times, and then eight times after three to four years.

The 12-year study was conducted by the University of Hong Kong and University College London with the most shocking element being that the chances of stomach cancer were still increased whether the bacteria Helicobacter pylori was present or not, which was suspected to increase the illnesses development. Interestingly, an alternative treatment, H2 blockers, had no impact on the effect of stomach cancer.

Overall, doctors do not believe this to be damning enough for the removal of PPI, but instead issued the statement that doctors should “exercise caution when prescribing long-term PPIs.” As a response to this advice, Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, believed that the reasoning behind this is that the patients who use PPI tend “to be sicker in a variety of ways than those for whom they are not prescribed.”

This post was written by a contributing writer. For more, check out our sister site The Debrief.

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