Islamabad-Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors - popular drugs commonly used to treated heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers - could lead to kidney damage and severe kidney disease.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce the stomach acid made by glands in the lining of the stomach. This is not the same as antacids, which reduce excess acid after it enters the stomach.

They are commonly used to relieve symptoms of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - a condition where food or liquid from the stomach moves up into the oesophagus or food pipe.

PPI use was also linked to a 28 per cent increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 96 per cent higher risk of developing complete kidney failure, compared with H2 blocker use.

The researchers note that the longer the duration of PPI, the higher the risk of kidney problems. They conclude long-term use of PPIs may cause harm to the kidneys and should be avoided. Senior author Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, a nephrologists with the VA Saint Louis Health Care System in Missouri, says their findings emphasize the importance of only using PPIs when strictly medically necessary, and also limiting the duration of use to the shortest possible.

He noted that “a lot of patients start taking PPIs for a medical condition, and they continue much longer than necessary.” The study adds to a body of research that is raising questions about long-term use of PPIs. Meanwhile another study suggests that among young and middle-aged individuals who have a heart attack, women experience higher levels of mental stress than men, which could have negative implications for their recovery. Women aged 18-55 who had a heart attack had higher levels of mental stress and worse recovery than men.

The researchers explain that past studies have shown mental stress can reduce blood flow in the body and encourage plaque formation in the arteries, which can raise the risk of heart attack. In addition, stress has been linked to behaviours that may negatively impact health outcomes, including failure to adhere to treatment.

At 1 month after heart attack, the researchers assessed how each patient was recovering, as measured by chest-pain-related physical function, overall health, quality of life, among other factors.

The team found that women had worse recovery following heart attack than men. In addition, women were found to have significantly higher levels of mental stress than men, which the researchers say may partly explain their poorer recovery.

Stress due to a business or crop failure affected men more than women (7.4 per cent vs. 3.5 per cent), and men were more likely to be worried about financial issues.

The researchers say their findings emphasize the need to consider how stress and other psychosocial factors may affect the recovery of patients following heart attack.