Proton Pump Inhibitors May Be Associated With Increased Risk of Dementia

CHICAGO -- February 16, 2016 -- The use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be associated with an increased risk of dementia, according to a study published online by JAMA Neurology.

Britta Haenisch, PhD, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany, and colleagues examined the association between the use of PPIs and the risk of dementia using data from 2004 to 2011 on inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and drug prescriptions. Regular PPI use was at least 1 PPI prescription in each quarter of an 18-month interval.

The study population included 218,493 individuals aged 75 years or older before 144,814 individuals were excluded, leaving 73,679 individuals included in the final analysis. The authors identified 29,510 patients who developed dementia during the study period.

Regular users of PPIs (n = 2,950) had a 44% increased risk of dementia compared with those not receiving PPI medication (n = 70,729).

Limitations to the study include the authors only being able to integrate some other risk factors for dementia into the analysis from the data.

“The present study can only provide a statistical association between PPI use and risk of dementia,” the authors wrote. “The possible underlying causal biological mechanism has to be explored in future studies. To evaluate and establish direct cause and effect relationships between PPI use and incident dementia in the elderly, randomised, prospective clinical trials are needed.”

In an accompanying editorial, Lewis H. Kuller, MD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, wrote: “[This study has] provided an important and interesting challenge to evaluate the possible association of the use of PPIs and the risk of dementia. This is a very important issue given the very high prevalence of pharmacological drugs' long-term use in elderly populations that have a very high risk of dementia.”

SOURCE: JAMA Neurology
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