Over the counter pain killers linked to hearing loss


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Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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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