HealthDay News – Esomeprazole accelerates aging of endothelial cells in lab tests, raising red flags about its long-term effect on cardiovascular health, according to research published online May 10 in Circulation Research.

John Cooke, MD, PhD, chair of cardiovascular sciences at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and colleagues analyzed cultured endothelial cells. These cell cultures were exposed every day to doses of esomeprazole “similar to what a patient would receive” for an extended period of time, Dr Cooke said.

Researchers found that long-term proton pump inhibitor (PPI) exposure impaired acid production by the lysosomes in the cells. Lysosomes typically clear waste products, but exposed to PPIs they didn’t produce enough acid to clear waste. The waste build-up caused accelerated senescence in the endothelial cells, Dr Cooke said, which could hamper their ability to protect blood vessels. H2 blockers did not have the same aging effect.

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These lab results could explain why other studies have shown increased risk of heart disease in people who use PPIs, Dr Cooke told HealthDay. “Our finding that the lining of blood vessels is impaired by proton pump inhibitors is a unifying mechanism for the reports that PPI users are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and renal failure,” he added.


Yepuri G, Sukhovershin R, Nazari-Shafti TZ, Petrascheck M, Ghebre YT, Cookie JP. Proton pump inhibitors accelerate endothelial senescence. Circ Res. 2016. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.308807.