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Prenatal Exposure to H2 Blockers, PPIs Ups Asthma Risk

Small but significantly increased risk of asthma in offspring; higher risk with greater exposure

THURSDAY, June 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Prenatal exposure to H2 blockers (H2Bs) or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is associated with a small but significantly increased risk of asthma in offspring, according to a study published online June 20 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Maayan Yitshak-Sade, M.P.H., from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, and colleagues examined the risk of asthma in offspring after prenatal exposure to H2Bs or PPIs. Data were included for 91,428 children and their mothers, who lived in southern Israel during 1998 to 2011. Overall, 11,227 of the eligible children developed asthma, and 5.5 percent reported prenatal H2B or PPI exposure.

The researchers found that those exposed to H2B or PPI had a slightly increased risk of developing asthma (relative risk, 1.09). Children whose mothers purchased these medications more than three times were at increased risk (relative risk, 1.22), as were those exposed to more than 20 defined daily doses or exposed to lansoprazole.

“The association between maternal consumption of H2B or PPI and asthma and childhood remained statistically significant two years after delivery, raising the possibility of confounding by indication phenomenon,” the authors write. “In view of the findings, a causal relationship could not be ascertained and an unidentified etiological factor could be operative.”

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