(HealthDay News) — Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be linked to long-term kidney damage, according to a study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Morgan Grams, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues used data on self-reported PPI use among 10,482 people taking part in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. The researchers also evaluated data on outpatient PPI prescriptions among 248,751 patients of a health care system in Pennsylvania.

The researchers found that PPI users in both groups were more likely to have health issues, such as obesity and hypertension. In both groups, use of the medications was associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) over 10 years. The researchers also compared patients using the medications once a day with those who used them twice a day. They found that twice-daily use was associated with a 46% increased risk of CKD, versus a 15% increased risk in those taking one daily dose.

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“We note that our study is observational and does not provide evidence of causality. However, a causal relationship between PPI use and CKD could have a considerable public health effect given the widespread extent of use. More than 15 million Americans used prescription PPIs in 2013, costing more than $10 billion,” the authors write. “Study findings suggest that up to 70% of these prescriptions are without indication and that 25% of long-term PPI users could discontinue therapy without developing symptoms. Indeed, there are already calls for the reduction of unnecessary use of PPIs.”


  1. Lazarus B, Chen Y, Wilson FP, et al. Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease. JAMA Intern Med; doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7193.
  2. Schoenfeld AJ and Grady D. Adverse Effects Associated With Proton Pump Inhibitors. JAMA Intern Med; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7927.