Inappropriateness of Proton Pump Inhibitors After Hospital Discharge Is Associated with Thirty-Day Hospital Readmission

Dig Dis Sci. 2022 Mar;67(3):817-825. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-06909-3. Epub 2021 Mar 16.


Background and aims: Concerns have been raised about the adverse effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Rather than PPIs themselves causing harm, we hypothesized that PPIs prescribed without appropriate indications would be associated with adverse outcomes compared to appropriately indicated PPIs.

Methods: Adult patients initiated on a new PPI during a hospitalization at our institution from 2014 to 2018 were analyzed. The primary outcome was all-cause 30-day readmission rate. The primary exposure was long-term appropriateness of PPI determined by the presence of prespecified diagnostic codes and discharge medications. Logistic regression modeling was used to estimate the odds of 30-day readmission in patients discharged on inappropriate compared to appropriate new PPIs.

Results: Of 84,236 patients admitted to our institution, 7745 (9.2%) were discharged on a new PPI, of which 5136 (66.3%) lacked an appropriately documented indication. Inappropriate PPIs were associated with 30-day hospital readmission after adjusting for other factors (adjusted odds ratio 1.30, 95% confidence interval 1.10-1.53). The excess risk associated with lack of appropriate documentation for PPIs in these patients was 44 readmissions per 1000 hospitalizations (95% confidence interval 21-67).

Conclusions: Discharge on inappropriate PPIs was associated with 30-day hospital readmission compared to appropriate PPIs. The harm associated with inappropriate PPIs is not likely due to direct effects of PPIs because all patients in the study received PPIs. Rather, patients who receive inappropriate PPIs may have additional patient-specific factors that place them at increased risk for hospital readmission.

Keywords: Pharmacoepidemiology; Polypharmacy; Proton pump inhibitor; Readmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors* / adverse effects


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors