by Bernadette M. Mandes Wildemore
Many patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease are treated with medications such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI) to help with the perceived increase in acid secretion in their digestive system. A previous observational type study purported that taking these PPIs increased the risk for these patients to develop pneumonia, and several reflux sufferers were significantly concerned. According to the original study, the rationale for this increased risk profile was thought to be due to a decrease in gastric pH secondary to the nature of the PPIs. This was believed to lead to diminished bactericidal protection and, consequently, increased risk for infection.
Nevertheless, a current, subsequent study has found that there is no association between the gastric acid suppression associated with both proton-pump inhibitors and the risk for community-acquired pneumonia.
For more information: Filion KB et al. Proton pump inhibitors and the risk of hospitalization for community-acquired pneumonia: Replicated cohort studies with meta-analysis. Gut 2013 Jul 15; [e-pub ahead of print].