Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed medications. Long-term use of PPIs has been suspected to have a provocative effect on gastric cancer. This study was to determine the association between PPI vs histamine 2 receptor antagonist (H2RA) use and the risk of gastric cancer in a region where the risk of this malignancy is high.
A population-based cohort study using the Korean National Health Insurance Services Database. The participants with first prescription of PPIs and H2RA with normal esophagogastroduodenoscopy finding from 2004 through 2015 were collected. Among them, 50% of participants were systematic stratified randomly sampled. There were 122,118 users of PPIs or H2RAs who use medication more than cumulative defined daily dose of 180 days. The users were followed up from long-term use threshold until gastric cancer, death from non–gastric cancer cause, gastric surgery, or study end (December 2017).
After calculating propensity score weights, we included 39,799 PPI and 38,967 H2RA users. Among the new PPI and H2RA users, we identified 411 cases of incident gastric cancer from 182,643 person-years of follow-up observation and 397 cases from 178,846 person-years of follow-up observation, respectively. Compared with H2RA users, PPI users did not experience significantly different gastric cancer incidence (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.88–1.16; P = 0.89). Sensitivity analyses confirmed that gastric cancer incidence did not differ between PPI and H2RA users.
In this large study, long-term treatment with PPIs vs H2RAs did not show higher risk of gastric cancer even in a high-risk region.