Cognitive impairment link found in older adults taking popular stomach acid medications

Aug 03, 2007

Long-term use of histamine2 receptor antagonists (H2A), one class of drugs that blocks stomach acid, may be associated with cognitive impairment in older African-American adults. According to an Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the risk for showing signs of cognitive impairment is 2.5 times greater for patients using these medications long-term.

These acid blockers, including ranitidine and famotidine, are among the most popular medications prescribed in the United States. More than 16 million prescriptions were dispensed in 2005 and several of these medications are also available over-the-counter. The drugs are sold under brand names such as Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac, and are used to treat ulcers, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal disorders.

The five-year observational study included 1,558 cognitively normal African-Americans aged 65 and older. After controlling for other possible factors, nearly 18 percent of H2A users studied exhibited signs of cognitive impairment.

“Taking these medications continuously appears to put older African-Americans at greater risk for the development of cognitive impairment,” said Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a Regenstrief research scientist. Dr. Boustani is lead author of the study. “We need to study this further to determine how acid blockers might be causing or creating this effect and if it occurs only in African-Americans.”

Source: Indiana University

Explore further: How sleep helps us learn and memorize

Related Stories

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

4 hours ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

8 hours ago

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

8 hours ago

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

Recommended for you

How sleep helps us learn and memorize

16 hours ago

Sleep is important for long lasting memories, particularly during this exam season. Research publishing in PLOS Computational Biology suggests that sleeping triggers the synapses in our brain to both streng ...

Hacking the nervous system

May 28, 2015

When Maria Vrind, a former gymnast from Volendam in the Netherlands, found that the only way she could put her socks on in the morning was to lie on her back with her feet in the air, she had to accept that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.