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Original article
Proton pump inhibitors and the risk of hospitalisation for community-acquired pneumonia: replicated cohort studies with meta-analysis
  1. Kristian B Filion1,
  2. Dan Chateau2,
  3. Laura E Targownik3,
  4. Andrea Gershon4,
  5. Madeleine Durand5,
  6. Hala Tamim6,
  7. Gary F Teare7,
  8. Pietro Ravani8,
  9. Pierre Ernst1,
  10. Colin R Dormuth9,
  11. the CNODES Investigators
  1. 1Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Research Institute, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  3. 3Section of Gastroenterology, Division of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Internal Medicine Service, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal (CHUM) and Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomy Research Unit of the CHUM, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  6. 6School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7Health Quality Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  8. 8Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  9. 9Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kristian B Filion, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University, Lady Davis Research Institute, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote Ste Catherine, Suite H4.16.1, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2; kristian.filion{at}


Objective Previous observational studies suggest that the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may increase the risk of hospitalisation for community-acquired pneumonia (HCAP). However, the potential presence of confounding and protopathic biases limits the conclusions that can be drawn from these studies. Our objective was, therefore, to examine the risk of HCAP with PPIs prescribed prophylactically in new users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Design We formed eight restricted cohorts of new users of NSAIDs, aged ≥40 years, using a common protocol in eight databases (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, US MarketScan and the UK's General Practice Research Database (GPRD)). This specific patient population was studied to minimise bias due to unmeasured confounders. High-dimensional propensity scores were used to estimate site-specific adjusted ORs (aORs) for HCAP at 6 months in PPI patients compared with unexposed patients. Fixed-effects meta-analytic models were used to estimate overall effects across databases.

Results Of the 4 238 504 new users of NSAIDs, 2.3% also started a PPI. The cumulative 6-month incidence of HCAP was 0.17% among patients prescribed PPIs and 0.12% in unexposed patients. After adjustment, PPIs were not associated with an increased risk of HCAP (aOR=1.05; 95% CI 0.89 to 1.25). Histamine-2 receptor antagonists yielded similar results (aOR=0.95, 95% CI  0.75 to 1.21).

Conclusions Our study does not support the proposition of a pharmacological effect of gastric acid suppressors on the risk of HCAP.

  • Proton Pump Inhibition
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Meta-Analysis

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