Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a type of drug which has the primary function of reducing the production of gastric acid in the body. For decades, PPIs have been used to address a number of issues, such as peptic ulcers, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Barrett’s esophagus, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Their predominance has led to multiple studies over the years, which have indicated that a large amount of patients have been inappropriately prescribed PPIs for their conditions. These studies have also linked PPI use to cardiovascular disease.

A recent study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine examined the relationship between PPI use and the likelihood of experiencing an ischemic stroke or a myocardial infarction (MI). A group of 214,998 people who did not have a history of ischemic stroke or MI were examined over a median period of 5.8 years. The study accounted for each individual’s PPI usage and the amount of each dose, and whether or not the individual was a long-term or short-term user.

The study found that 7,916 ischemic strokes and 5,608 MI’s occurred during the study period. Patients who took what were considered high doses of PPI increased their likelihood of experiencing an ischemic stroke or MI. Long-term users of PPIs were 29% more likely to experience an ischemic stroke and 36% more likely to experience a MI within a six-month period when compared to individuals who did not take PPIs.

At Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery, our goal is to provide our patients with effective long-term surgical solutions to their foregut issues. Our team works diligently to properly diagnose each patient so that we can provide them with appropriate and personalized care that improves their quality of life. If you are experiencing issues with your foregut, contact Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery today to schedule a consultation with board-certified general surgeon Dr. Reginald Bell.