Heartburn or heart attack?

Stanford University study links heartburn medication to risk of heart attack

There may be a link between using proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs—medication for heartburn such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid—and risk of heart attack, according to Stanford University.

For the study, researchers combed the electronic health records of about 3 million people and “created a data structure which we [could] then analyze for associations that may have clinical significance,” said one of the study's authors, according to KQED News. Use of heartburn medication was associated with a 16 percent to 20 percent increased risk of heart attack “above baseline”—which means that if an individual's risk is low, say 1 in 10,000, then using PPIs would increase risk to 1.2 in 10,000. The concern is for people already at high risk of heart attack.

However, the researchers stressed that only a randomized control trial in which participants receive either a PPI or a placebo would prove causation.