PPIs may not reduce cancer risks

Long-term pharmacological gastric acid suppression may not reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer in patients with reflux disease, UK data has suggested.

Comparison of 809 cases of newly diagnosed oesophageal or gastric cancer with 10,000 controls highlighted a five-fold increased risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma among patients who had taken a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) or H2 blocker for more than three years.  

This risk was only seen in patients with reflux symptoms, oesophagitis, Barrett’s oesophagus or hiatal hernia. Patients with peptic ulcers or gastroduodenal symptoms had no increased risk.  

West Sussex GP Dr Jim Price, a member of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology, said the findings were surprising. 

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