Heartburn medications use during pregnancy tied to asthma risk in children | Meta-analysis

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  • Use of acid-suppressive medications during pregnancy was associated with 36% increase in risk for asthma in offsprings.
  • This risk was higher with H2-receptor antagonists (H2RA) use vs proton pump inhibitors (PPI).

Why this matters

  • Dyspepsia and gastroesophageal reflux disease are common in pregnant women.
  • Previous studies on the use of acid-suppressive medications during pregnancy and risk for asthma in offsprings have shown inconsistent results.

Study design

  • This meta-analysis included analytical epidemiological studies in women during preconception and pregnancy and their offspring who were aged ≤17 y.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • 8 studies with 1,620,043 participants were included.
  • The use of acid-suppressive medications was associated with significant risk for asthma (risk ratio, 1.36; I2, 87.6%).
  • H2RA (HR, 1.46; I2, 15.3%) showed higher risk for asthma vs PPI (HR, 1.30; I2, 45.2%).
  • No conclusion could be made on association of use during any specific trimester and development of asthma.


  • Unmeasured confounding factors could have influenced observation.
  • Risk for publication bias.