Clues To How Popular Heartburn Drug Might Harm Arteries, Houston Methodist Research Institute Study

A popular over-the-counter heartburn medication accelerated aging of blood vessel cells in lab tests, raising red flags about its long-term effect on heart health, researchers say.

Faster aging of blood vessel cells exposed to the antacid Nexium (esomeprazole) might potentially hinder the tasks these cells perform to prevent heart attack and stroke, the new study suggests.

These lab results could explain why other studies have shown increased risk of heart disease in people who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) -- the class of heartburn medication that includes Nexium, said study senior author Dr. John Cooke.

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