A study published in PLOS ONE indicates that the atacids effects on heart attack may be unexpected. Antacids are medicines which are widely used for treating heart attacks and heartburn. About 20 million Americans take atacids for heartburn, but according to this study it seems that this type of medicine can actually generate heart attacks.
Some atacids known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can help controlling heartburn symptoms. The sale of this type of medicine generates sums of $14 billion globally all over the world. Some popular PPS are Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec. However the study conducted by researchers from Stanford University suggests that the antacid effect on heart attack may have the opposite outcome.
Researchers from Stanford University in collaboration with researchers from Houston Methodist compared the heart attack risk in the case of patients who used PPIs and patients who used other types of medication. The data for the study was collected from 16 million clinical documents and included information about 2.9 million patients. The records came from two databases: the electronic medical records company Practice Fusion and STRIDE (the Stanford Translational Research Integrated Database Environment).
According to the findings of the study PPIs affect the heart tissue. Nigham Shah, assistant professor from the Stanford University explained that the depending on the particular type of antacid used the risk of heart attack is almost 16% to 20% higher. However those who generally have a lower risk of developing heart attack should not worry about the effects of antacids. Shah explained that if one person’s risk of heart condition was one in a million the use of antacids would make it 1.2.
The lead author of the study Dr. Nicholas J. Leeper from Stanford University remarked:
“Our report raises concerns that these drugs – which are available over the counter and are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world – may not be as safe as we previously assumed.”
The study cannot however be considered completely reliable since the observational data used in the research can be confounding in various ways. To determine exactly the antacids effects on heart attack in the future researchers hope to conduct an extended, randomized, prospective trial to confirm how harmful antacids are and what populations are more vulnerable to it.
Image Source: The Independent