Can Antacids Cause Cardiac Issues?

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Heartburn is a common problem in America, but can treating it increase the chances of cardiac issues and vascular dementia? Not to mention kidney problems? That possibility is raised by a recent study published in Circulation Research.

What is this study?

fizz.jpgThe study, which is entitled “Proton Pump Inhibitors Accelerate Endothelial Senescence,” was conducted by Houston Methodist Research Institute. It looked at the effect that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of medications that includes many over-the-counter medicines for heartburn and related diseases, have on cells which line the insides of blood vessels. When these cells are healthy, they have a coating that keeps blood from sticking to the vessels.
The scientists discovered that prolonged use of PPIs can cause the cells to lose that “non-stick coating,” with the result that blood elements may stick and create blockages.
In addition, prolonged use of PPIS causes a loss of acidity in the cells, which affects proper functioning, and a general increase in aging of the cells.
All of this can have an impact on a person’s health. The kinds of changes noted by the scientists may indicate an increased risk of heart attack, vascular dementia, and renal failure.
Heart attacks are a common concern for many senior citizens. Vascular dementia is often caused when a series of minor strokes reduces blood flow to the brain. And renal (or kidney) issues affect one in 10 American adults.


According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approximately 1 in 14 Americans have used a PPI. Occasional use is not considered problematic; however, chronic use (or overuse) can be a cause for concern.  Common brand names of PPIs include Prilosec, PrevAcid, and Nexium.
PPIs are effective at fighting heartburn and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) and provide significant relief for many people. However, as with any medication, they should be taken under a doctor’s guidance, even though they are commonly available without a prescription. Those concerned about whether their antacids may be putting them at risk for vascular dementia or heart or kidney issues, or whether they simply may be depending too much on them, should consult a doctor.
Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

Christian & Claudia Steiner, Owners

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