The use of proton pump inhibitors to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers does not increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older patients, according to research from Finland.
The study, by the University of Eastern Finland, included 70,718 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 282,862 controls, making it the largest study on the topic so far.
“We found no clinically meaningful association between PPI use and risk of Alzheimer’s”
The Finnish study authors noted that their research followed two previous studies from Germany that had reported an increased risk of dementia.
But, according to the new study, proton pump inhibitor use was not associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease – not even in long-term use exceeding three years.
In addition, a higher dose did not increase the risk, according to the researchers writing in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
“We found no clinically meaningful association between proton pump inhibitors use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” they said.
“The results for longer duration of cumulative use or use with higher doses did not indicate dose–response relationship,” they added.
However, the researchers noted that the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors should be carefully considered among older patients, as it had been linked with decreased calcium and vitamin B12 absorption and with serious intestinal infections like Clostridium difficile.
Another set of findings from the same study has indicated how commonly proton pump inhibitors are used in Finland for patients with Alzheimer’s and among their peers of the same age.
It found that over one third of older patients used proton pump inhibitors. Long-term use was slightly more common among those with Alzheimer’s disease than those without the disease.
The study, published in European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found 20% of patients with Alzheimer’s and 18% without it used proton pump inhibitors continuously for over six months.