Change of heart

Upfront is a quick look at the latest developments from Stanford Medicine.

To reduce stomach acid,
heartburn patients have a couple of options: H2 blockers like Pepcid or Zantac, or the stronger proton-pump inhibitors like Prilosec or Prevacid. The 20 million Americans who take PPIs may want to reconsider, say researchers, who have found a link between their use and the risk of a subsequent heart attack.

In a study published in June 2015 in PLOS ONE, lead author Nigam Shah, PhD, MBBS, assistant professor of biomedical informatics, and colleagues mined the electronic health records of 3 million people, comparing the frequency of subsequent heart attacks among PPI users with that of heartburn sufferers who were not using PPIs. They found a roughly 20 percent increase in the rate of heart attacks among PPI users. H2 blockers were not associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

Additional Reading

Blood quest

It was 1983, and alarm was rising over the deadly virus that would come to be known as HIV. Ed Engleman thought blood banks would welcome his screening test with open arms. He was wrong

The woman who fell to Earth

Deborah Shurson strapped on her gear and stepped into the Cessna 206 that would take her 2,600 feet into the air