A NY Times review PPIs and Heart Attacks of PLos One study showing an association between PPI usage (eg. prilosec, prevacid, and nexium) and heart attacks -this study does not prove any causality, but is likely to spark some questions. Excerpt:
The widely used drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or P.P.I.’s — gastric reflux preventives like Prilosec and Prevacid — may increase the risk for heart attack, according to analysis of data involving almost three million people.
A significant limitation of the study, in PLOS One, is that P.P.I. usage may be a marker of a sicker patient population, more subject to heart disease in any case.
Here’s NPR’s take on the same study: Data Dive -Possible Link Between PPIs and Heart Attacks
“The increase in risk is about 16 to 20 percent, depending on the particular drug involved”…
Someone with a low risk of heart attack doesn’t have much to worry about. “If your risk of a cardiovascular event or a heart attack is one in a million, now it is 1.2 in a million,” [Nigham] Shah [one of the authors] says.
“The problem is, it’s very easy to do studies of this sort that lead to conclusions that can be misleading,” says Dr. David Juurlink, a drug-safety researcher at the University of Toronto…
“Having a bad diet, drinking too much alcohol, smoking and all sorts of other things … might lead people to be on a PPI,” Juurlink says. One would expect those people to be at higher risk of heart attack, which leads Juurlink to think the medicine is likely not to blame.”