Seung Won Lee,Eun Kyo Ha,Abdullah Özgür Yeniova,Sung Yong Moon,So Young Kim,Hyun Yong Koh,Jee Myung Yang,Su Jin Jeong,Sun Joon Moon,Joo Young Cho,In Kyung Yoo,Dong Keon Yon
Objective The adverse effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been documented for pneumonia; however, there is no consensus regarding whether the use of PPIs might be harmful regarding the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In this regard, we aimed to measure the potential associations of the current use of PPIs with the infection rates of COVID-19 among patients who underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing. Design Data were derived from a Korean nationwide cohort study with propensity score matching. We included 132 316 patients older than 18 years who tested for SARS-CoV-2 between 1 January and 15 May 2020. Endpoints were SARS-CoV-2 positivity (primary) and severe clinical outcomes of COVID-19 (secondary: admission to intensive care unit, administration of invasive ventilation or death). Results In the entire cohort, there were 111 911 non-users, 14 163 current PPI users and 6242 past PPI users. After propensity score matching, the SARS-CoV-2 test positivity rate was not associated with the current or past use of PPIs. Among patients with confirmed COVID-19, the current use of PPIs conferred a 79% greater risk of severe clinical outcomes of COVID-19, while the relationship with the past use of PPIs remained insignificant. Current PPI use starting within the previous 30 days was associated with a 90% increased risk of severe clinical outcomes of COVID-19. Conclusion Patients taking PPIs are at increased risk for severe clinical outcomes of COVID-19 but not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This suggests that physicians need to assess benefit–risk assessments in the management of acid-related diseases amid the COVID-19 pandemic.