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Heartburn Drugs May Raise Pneumonia Risk
Date:12/20/2010

id to do the job may allow pathogens to flourish and end up in the lungs.

Yet no one is questioning the importance of PPIs and H2 blockers in treating GERD, said Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Reflux is painful and uncomfortable, and there's also debate among the scientific community as to whether it might increase the risk for a certain type of esophageal cancer. Research regarding the connection has had mixed results.

Reflux can also cause acids from the stomach to get into the airways and inflame the bronchial tubes, raising the risk of infection, he said.

"Not taking your PPIs can raise risk of bronchitis, sinusitis and maybe pneumonia," Josephson said. "I have a lot of patients on PPIs and H2 blockers and have never seen any of them end up with pneumonia as a result."

More information

The U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse has more on GERD.

SOURCES: Sang Min Park, M.D., Ph.D., department of family medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea; Michael Brown, M.D., gastroenterologist, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Jordan Josephson, M.D., ear, nose and throat doctor, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Dec. 20, 2010, CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)


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