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Acid-Suppressive Drugs May Up Pneumonia Risk

Higher risk tied to proton pump inhibitors and histamine2 receptor antagonists

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a proton pump inhibitor or histamine2 receptor antagonist may be associated with an elevated risk of community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Chun-Sick Eom, M.D., M.P.H., of the Seoul National University Hospital in the Republic of Korea, and colleagues identified 31 studies using three electronic databases (MEDLINE [PubMed], Embase, and the Cochrane Library) from inception to Aug. 28, 2009.

In a meta-analysis of the eight observational studies, the investigators found that the overall risk of pneumonia was higher among individuals using proton pump inhibitors (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.27) and histamine2 receptor antagonists (aOR, 1.22). The use of histamine2 receptor antagonists was also associated with an elevated risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia (relative risk, 1.22) in the randomized controlled trials.

"Use of a proton pump inhibitor or histamine2 receptor antagonist may be associated with an increased risk of both community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia," the authors write. "Given these potential adverse effects, clinicians should use caution in prescribing acid-suppressive drugs for patients at risk."

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