Over the counter pain killers linked to hearing loss


Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men


Dr. Sharon G. Curhan of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and her colleagues studied 26,917 men aged 40-74 years at baseline in 1986 and every two years. These were men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Regular use of analgesics was defined as 2+ times/week.


Among all men who used aspirin at least twice a week, there was a 12% increased risk of hearing loss.
Among those who used ibuprofen and related analgesics, there was a 21% increase.
And for those who used acetaminophen, a 22% risk.


But the risk was much higher when they considered only men younger than 50.


In that group, there was a
33%  increased risk for aspirin use,
61% increase for ibuprofen and related NSAIDs, and
99% increase for acetaminophen.


The younger the man and the more years used, the greater the risk of hearing loss.


The study involved only male Caucasians, thus no conclusions can be drawn on risk of use for women and other racial groups.


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