Ok so, this new study is almost common sense stuff. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of drugs that prevent our bodies from producing stomach acid. They've been linked to a number of infections because our bodies' ability to destroy invading pathogens with stomach acid is diminished.
For this post, let's even forget about how our bodies need stomach acid to digest food and release nutrients our bodies need, or the increased risk of hip fractures (we need acid to absorb minerals, like calcium), heart problems, etc...
And since it's the holiday season and most of you are probably in no mood to read this stuff anyway, I'll skip right to the conclusion. Basically, this study found that the use of a PPI is associated with a 30-40% increase in risk of pneumonia.
The interesting thing here is that pneumonia affects the lungs. Typically it's gastrointestinal infections that result from PPI usage (like H. pylori, C. difficile, etc.).
Unfortunately, PPI drugs are among the best-selling drugs, and it's questionable whether they're even needed in most cases. But hey, buying more drugs employs more people, and getting sick from those drugs employs even more people. So overall, I guess it's good for the economy, no? Just not so good for all those altruistic people who sacrifice their hard-earned money and health to keep the economy running.
Source: Risk of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Veteran Patients to Whom Proton Pump Inhibitors Were Dispensed
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