(WKBW/ABC) A surprising link between drugs taken
by millions for stomach troubles and an increased risk of pneumonia.
A study found that people taking antacids had about a 27
percent greater risk of pneumonia than those not taking them.
Doctors say by slowing the secretion of stomach acid, the drugs allow more bacteria to grow in the digestive tract where it can be inhaled into the lungs.
Doctors also say acid reflux disease is a risk factor for pneumonia in its own right, so drugs for that disease may not be associated with the higher risk.