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DDW: Anti-Reflux Drugs Linked to Cardiac Birth Defects

Proton pump inhibitors used in pregnancy linked to doubled risk of cardiac birth defects

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for gastroesophageal reflux disease during pregnancy may be associated with cardiac birth defects, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2010, held from May 1 to 5 in New Orleans.

Andrew D. Rhim, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues used medical records from The Health Improvement Network to identify 208,951 pregnancies in the United Kingdom from 2000 to 2008. They identified 2,445 cases of cardiac malformations in infants and 19,530 matched controls.

The researchers found that the use of PPIs during pregnancy was associated with a doubling in the risk of cardiac birth defects in newborns, with omeprazole associated with the highest risk of cardiac birth defects compared to other PPIs evaluated. The researchers determined that PPI use was not associated with an increased risk of birth defects in other organs.

"The lack of association between maternal PPI use and other types of birth defects makes it less likely that our findings are due to confounding," Rhim said in a statement.

Abstract No. 475b
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