Study: Heartburn meds linked to higher chance of early death

By Melanie Lawson - The Morning Show anchor

A recent Washington University School of Medicine study found a link between common heartburn medications and an increased chance of early death.

The study did not prove cause and effect, but the results go along with other research, which has found the drugs, like Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, lead to an increased risk of certain health problems.

The study asked: Can these health problems lead to an early death?

Researchers compared people who took proton-pump inhibitors to people who took other forms of heartburn medication, like Pepcid and Zantac, which are H2 blockers.

The people who took PPIs had a 25 percent higher risk of early death.

The same 25 percent elevated risk was seen when researchers compared PPI users to people who don't take any heartburn medication.

Evidence suggests PPIs can cause users' bodies to change on the DNA level.

The scientists who conducted the study said it shows the drugs should be used only in emergencies.

Long-term conditions should be treated with other heartburn medications.

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