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Features

Certain heartburn medicines may increase the risk of COVID-19

People who take proton pump inhibitors, especially if they take them more than once a day, may have a greater risk for COVID-19, according to a new study.

However, people who control their heartburn with H2 blockers did not appear to have an increased risk.

The study that was part of a larger survey on gastroenterological diseases funded by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals was published online July 7.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study examining the relationship between PPIs and COVID-19 among a population-based sample of Americans," according to the study.

Proton pump inhibitors treat a variety of acid-related diseases, such as Barrett’s esophagus, which, if left untreated, can lead to cancer of the esophagus.

Because long-term-use PPIs also are associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis, dementia, clostridium difficile, kidney disease, pneumonia and deficiency of some vitamins and minerals, health care professionals have become increasingly concerned with the overuse of PPIS.

"Further studies examining the association between PPIs and COVID-19 and whether they increase the risk for more severe disease are needed," according to the study.

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