Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — used widely to reduce stomach acid and treat heartburn — have been linked to an increased risk for ischemic stroke in a new study.
The Danish nationwide observational study, presented at the recent American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016, showed a dose-related increased risk for ischemic stroke with all four PPIs investigated, but no increased risk with histamine-2 (H2) blockers, which are used for similar indications.
The researchers, led by Thomas Sehested, MD, Danish Heart Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark, note that their findings add to a growing body of evidence linking PPIs with cardiovascular disease.
He reported that preclinical studies have shown PPIs reduce the production of nitric oxide leading to endothelial dysfunction, and several observational clinical studies have linked their use to cardiovascular disease. "But to our knowledge, this is the first study to look at the effect of PPI drugs on ischemic stroke."