Does PPI Use Increase Pneumonias in Otherwise Healthy Infants?

A recent study (M-L Blank, et al. JPGN 2018; 67: 335-40) showed that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) do not appear to increase the risk of pneumonia in otherwise healthy infants.

This study used a cohort of 21,991 patients (2005-2012) in New Zealand and examined the use of a PPI (omeprazole, lansoprazole, or pantoprazole) and its association with lower respiratory tract infections (566 validated cases) and 65 cases of radiography-confirmed community acquired pneumonia (CAP).  For each LRTI and each CAP, there were 10 matched controls.

Key findings:

  • Neither current nor recent use of a PPI was associated with an increased risk of CAP or LRTI resulting in hospitalization or death.
  • The matched odds ratio for CAP with current or past use of PPI was 0.88 and for all LRTI cases the matched odds ratio was 1.13.

My take: This study indicates that PPIs are unlikely to contribute to respiratory infections in otherwise healthy infants.  The larger question is how many of these infants really should be receiving PPIs and what other adverse consequences that may occur.

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