Many Americans use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for heartburn and acid reflux. But recent research connects these drugs to higher risks of kidney failure, stroke, early death, and maybe dementia. A study in the Neurology journal says people over 45 who used PPIs for four years had a 33% higher dementia risk.

This study looked at 5,700 people aged 45 to 64 without dementia. It suggests a link between long-term PPI use and dementia risk. PPIs reduce stomach acid and help with acid reflux. They’re sold without a prescription but have risks. The study doesn’t prove direct cause-and-effect, but it shows a need for more study. It found that over 4.4 years of PPI use meant a higher dementia risk. Even with limits like once-a-year medication reports, the study suggests talking to a doctor about other options if using PPIs long-term. Antacids, H2 blockers, diet changes, and weight loss might help. This study warns about using PPIs for a long time and says to be careful and talk to a doctor.