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Acid Suppressors Linked to Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

Last Updated: May 26, 2009.

Among inpatients, treatment with acid-suppressive medication -- particularly proton-pump inhibitors -- may significantly increase the risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia, according to a study published in the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Among inpatients, treatment with acid-suppressive medication -- particularly proton-pump inhibitors -- may significantly increase the risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia, according to a study published in the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Shoshana J. Herzig, M.D., of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data on 63,878 adults admitted to a large, urban, academic medical center, 52 percent of whom received acid-suppressive medication and 3.5 percent of whom developed hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Overall, the researchers found that acid-suppressive medication was associated with a higher rate of hospital-acquired pneumonia (4.9 versus 2.0 percent) and a 30 percent increase in odds of developing the condition. However, the authors note that the risk was only significant for proton-pump inhibitors (odds ratio, 1.3) and not for histamine2 receptor agonists (odds ratio, 1.2).

"These results occur in the context of an increasing body of literature suggesting an association between acid-suppressive medication and pneumonia," the authors conclude. "Further scrutiny is warranted regarding inpatient prescribing practices of these medications."

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