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J Clin Epidemiol. 2004 Apr;57(4):422-8.

A case-control study on adverse effects: H2 blocker or proton pump inhibitor use and risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 E. 9th Ave., C-238, Denver, CO 80262, USA.



Acid-suppressant drugs are commonly prescribed for elderly patients, a population in which vitamin B(12) deficiency is a common disorder. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible association between use of prescription histamine H-2 receptor antagonists (H2RA) or proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and vitamin B(12) deficiency in older adults.


This was a case-control study in a University-based geriatric primary care setting. Among patients aged 65 years or older with documented serum vitamin B(12) studies between 1990 and 1997, 53 vitamin B(12)-deficient cases were compared with 212 controls for past or current use of prescription H2RA/PPI according to information in subjects' medical records.


Controlling for age, gender, multivitamin use, and Helicobacter pylori infection, chronic (#10878;12 months) current use of H2RA/PPI was associated with a significantly increased risk of vitamin B(12) deficiency (OR 4.45; 95% CI 1.47-13.34). No association was found between past or short-term current use of H2RA/PPI and vitamin B(12) deficiency.


These findings support an association between chronic use of H2RA/PPI by older adults and development of vitamin B(12) deficiency. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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