"People who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have a 20 percent to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease compared with nonusers, said lead author Dr. Morgan Grams, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The study was published Jan. 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study doesn't establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the drugs and chronic kidney disease. However, Grams said, "We found there was an increasing risk associated with an increasing dose. That suggests that perhaps this observed effect is real."
Proton pump inhibitors were used by more than 15 million Americans in 2013, according to background notes.
But as many as 70 percent of these prescriptions have been handed out inappropriately, and 25 percent of long-term users could stop taking the medication without suffering increased heartburn or acid reflux, the study authors said.
Use of the prescription heartburn drugs already has been linked to short-term kidney problems such as acute kidney injury and an inflammatory kidney disease called acute interstitial nephritis, Grams said.
Newer studies now show a link between the drugs and chronic kidney disease, in which the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood effectively.
Over time, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, forcing someone to undergo regular dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health."
If you have heartburn problems my advice is to consult a natural health practitioner who does not deal in drugs. Heartburn has several possible causes. These heartburn drugs treat the symptoms and not the underlying or root causes. These fester on and the condition worsens even while there may be no or less worrying symptoms. The absence of symptoms does not always mean the absence of disease.