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Antacids may raise risk of pneumonia

December 21, 2010 12:44:52 AM PST
Doctors have found a surprising link between antacids and an increased risk of developing pneumonia. Drugs taken to suppress stomach acid account for tens of billions of dollars in sales, but some question whether those taking the medications are at higher risk of pneumonia.

Canadian researchers have compared the data from 31 previous studies. The results, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found people who take antacids were about 25 percent more likely to get pneumonia.

Antacids slow down acid production and allow more bacteria to grow in the digestive tract.