Common Painkillers - Paracetamol And Ibuprofen Linked To 'Hearing Loss' In Women

Women who take paracetamol and ibuprofen regularly have a high risk of long-term deafness, a new study shows.  Regular intake of the common painkillers means taking them for at least two days a week for six years.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Vanderbilt University, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, joined forces to conduct a study about the long-term effects of taking painkillers.  They wanted to analyze the links between painkiller or analgesic use duration and self-reported hearing loss in a large group of females in the U.S.

Prolonged Use Of Ibuprofen And Acetaminophen Linked To Hearing Loss

The study used data on 55,850 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study, one of the largest and longest running investigations about women's health in the U.S.  The women were aged 44 to 69 and were asked about their painkiller use every two years.

The results show that prolonged use of ibuprofen and acetaminophen was linked to a slightly higher relative risk of hearing loss, at 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, in the women, Medical News Today reported.  These findings add to a growing body of evidence linking the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or paracetamol with loss of hearing, but the reason why is still elusive.

Senior author of the study, Gary Curhan, said: "Although the magnitude of higher risk of hearing loss with analgesic use was modest, given how commonly these medications are used, even a small increase in risk could have important health implications."

No Significant Association Found In Taking Aspirin

Although long-term use of ibuprofen or paracetamol was linked to a higher risk of hearing loss, no significant association was found with usual-dose aspirin use.  Researchers think that this may be because nowadays, people tend to use low-dose aspirin.

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