Association of early-life exposure to acid-suppressive therapy and fractures during childhood: A retrospective cohort study

Tomer Achler, Gabriel Chodick, Ron Shaoul, Shlomi Cohen, Amir Ben-Tov*, Inbal Goldshtein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Increased acid-suppressive therapy (AST) usage during infancy is seen worldwide, while the data on the risk for paediatric fractures associated with these drugs are scarce. We aimed to evaluate the risk for fractures associated with early-life usage of AST. Methods This population-based retrospective propensity-matched cohort study included children born between 2005 and 2016 who used AST during the first year of life, and a 3:1 matched unexposed group. Study subjects were followed from the end of the first year of life until the earliest of the following: an outcome event (either fracture or non-fracture injury, separately), age of 10 or August 2022. The cumulative incidence of fractures and the HR of AST for fracture and non-fracture injury as negative control were calculated. Results A total of 13 894 eligible AST users and 41 418 propensity score-matched non-users were included in the analysis. The cumulative incidence of fracture among children with AST (23.7%) was significantly (p<0.001) higher than non-users (21.7%) corresponding to an HR of 1.11 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.16). The HR for one to two AST purchases versus none was 1.09 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.14) and the HR for 3+ AST purchases versus none was 1.25 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.39). AST was also associated with injuries by an HR of 1.09 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.13). Conclusions AST was associated with a small but statistically significant increased incidence of fractures. We cannot exclude reporting bias or residual confounders. The clinical inference is currently unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • epidemiology
  • gastroenterology
  • paediatrics


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