Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) increase the risk of pneumonia in older adults (60+ years). Researchers analyzed data from over 75,000 adults who used PPIs for 1 or more years. They then looked at the incidents of pneumonia in year 2 of treatment and compared these rates to a control group (age and sex-matched) not taking PPIs. The study found that for every 420 people treated with a proton pump inhibitor, there was 1 additional case of pneumonia. Journal of The American Geriatrics Society
→Takeaway: The detrimental effects PPIs have on the gut microbiome could be to blame for the increased risk of pneumonia. Approximately 40% of older adults are prescribed PPIs, yet a 2013 studyfound that roughly 85% of them might not need them. In Dr. Chutkan’s practice, The Digestive Center for Wellness, she is finding that proton pump inhibitors may have an even more negative impact on the gut microbiome and overall health than antibiotics. In addition, many patients taking PPIs turn out to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), not acid reflux. For information on how to taper off your PPI, click here.