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Br J Cancer. 2012 Jan 3;106(1):233-9. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.511. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2-receptor antagonists and pancreatic cancer risk: a nested case-control study.

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Clinical and Practice Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT9 7BL, UK.



The relationship between use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine-2-receptor antagonists (H(2)RAs) and pancreatic cancer risk has yet to be examined. Data from a range of studies suggest biologically plausible mechanisms, whereby these drugs (or the conditions for which they are prescribed) may affect pancreatic cancer risk. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between use of PPIs/H(2)RAs and pancreatic cancer risk.


A nested case-control study was conducted within the UK general practice research database (GPRD). Cases had a diagnosis of exocrine pancreatic cancer and controls were matched to cases on general practice site, sex and year of birth. Exposure to PPIs and to H(2)RAs since entry into GPRD until 2 years before the diagnosis date (corresponding date in controls) and in the 5 years before the diagnosis date were separately assessed. Conditional logistic regression analyses were used to generate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with PPI or H(2)RA use compared with nonuse.


Ever use of PPIs since entry into the GPRD (excluding the 2 years prior to diagnosis) was not associated with risk of pancreatic cancer; OR (95% CI) 1.02 (0.85-1.22). Neither the dose nor the duration of PPI or H(2)RA use was associated with pancreatic cancer risk. No consistent patterns of association were seen when cumulative exposure (dose and duration) to these drugs was examined separately or together.


PPI/H(2)RA use, in a UK population, was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

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