Certain reflux ulcer medications may increase the risk of kidney damage after heart surgery


The risk of kidney damage is higher in patients who have had heart surgery on proton pump inhibitors, according to a new study. File photo by Kzenon / Shutterstock

November 4 (UPI) – Adults undergoing heart surgery who take heartburn medication before the procedure are more likely to develop acute kidney injury and die while hospitalized, a to study presented Thursday at the meeting of the American Society of Nephrology Not Found.

Just under 6% of heart surgery patients who used a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, developed acute kidney injury, the data shows.

In comparison, just over 3% of patients who did not use the drugs experienced the complication, the researchers said.

Additionally, patients who took PPIs were more than 50% more likely to die in hospital after developing the complication than those who did not take the drugs, they said.

“Our results suggest that PPI exposure is a modifiable risk factor for ARI associated with cardiac surgery [or acute kidney injury]”Study co-author Dr. Hee Byung Koh said in a press release.

“Stopping PPIs before surgery may be a preventative strategy for ARI after heart surgery,” said Koh, a kidney specialist at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

Acute kidney failure, or a sudden drop in kidney function, is a common complication after major surgery, with previous research suggesting it occurs after up to 50% of procedures.

PPI drugs are used to treat acid reflux – known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD – as well as stomach ulcers. They are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, according to the United States National Library of Medicine.

Almost 30% of adults nationwide use the drugs, examples of which include Esomeprazole, or Nexium, and Lansoprazole, or Prevacid.

For this study, the researchers included medical information from 2 groups – 6,555 adults who had heart surgery between 2011 and 2020 and 2,939 seniors who had heart surgery between 2004 and 2015.

Among people in the study who used PPIs before surgery, the rate of acute kidney failure requiring dialysis was 5.5% versus 3.2% among those who did not use them, the results showed. data.

Older patients who used PPIs before heart surgery had a slightly higher risk of acute kidney injury, the researchers said.


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