What are a PPI and an MI???  Who cares….I saw the wordy “sexy” in the title so I decided to click this article and now I find it’s just a misleading come on.

Actually, this header for the article is just the point:  Provocative and salacious headlines create interest.  And among the older set, the ones taking PPI medications (read Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid)….any article that mentions this multi-billion dollar medication for ulcers gets their attention.

This time, it’s a data-mining article that looks at an associated risk between PPI medications and heart attacks, and claims to note a statistically increased risk to your health if you take these medications.  Although the data set they use is enormous, this type of statistical research is fraught with potential errors, so don’t be so quick to quash your Nexium to protect your heart.  In addition, this criticism of PPI medications is motivated, in my experience, by the need for associate professors and other ‘publish or perish’ types to knock of the prevailing dogma and thus gain their position on the top of the academic heap.

PPI’s and their development were among the great achievements in pharmacology in the latter half of the 20th Century, and it does not appear that anyone is developing a superior ulcer medication in the future.  Given the lack of opportunity in the development side of this topic, the academics are focusing on the criticism side….a much easier task I might add.

So, sexy headline or not; be cautious about the headline-catching scientific articles you see on the internet and news.  They are often more provocative than insightful and accurate.

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