Acid suppressive drugs and gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies

World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Apr 28;19(16):2560-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i16.2560.


Aim: To evaluate the association between acid suppressive drug use and the development of gastric cancer.

Methods: A systematic search of relevant studies that were published through June 2012 was conducted using the MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases. The search included observational studies on the use of histamine 2-receptor antagonists (H₂RAs) or proton pump inhibitors and the associated risk of gastric cancer, which was measured using the adjusted odds ratio (OR) or the relative risk and 95%CI. An independent extraction was performed by two of the authors, and a consensus was reached.

Results: Of 4595 screened articles, 11 observational studies (n = 94558) with 5980 gastric cancer patients were included in the final analyses. When all the studies were pooled, acid suppressive drug use was associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer risk (adjusted OR = 1.42; 95%CI: 1.29-1.56, I² = 48.9%, P = 0.034). The overall risk of gastric cancer increased among H₂RA users (adjusted OR = 1.40; 95%CI: 1.24-1.59, I² = 59.5%, P = 0.008) and PPI users (adjusted OR = 1.39; 95%CI: 1.19-1.64, I² = 0.0%, P = 0.377).

Conclusion: Acid suppressive drugs are associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer. Further studies are needed to test the effect of acid suppressive drugs on gastric cancer.

Keywords: Gastric cancer; H2-receptor antagonists; Meta-analysis; Proton pump inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Young Adult


  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors