Tags: hearing | loss | pain | killer

Pain Meds Tied to Hearing Loss in Women

Friday, 14 September 2012 01:34 PM

Women who routinely take the popular painkillers ibuprofen or acetaminophen may face a greater risk of hearing loss, according to new research by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found women who pop pain-relieving pills two or more days per week may cause damage to their ears. Investigators also found the more often a woman takes either medication, the higher her risk for hearing loss. What’s more, danger is greater in women younger than 50 years old, especially for those who take ibuprofen six or more days per week.
"Possible mechanisms might be that [the painkillers] may reduce blood flow to the cochlea – the hearing organ – and impair its function," said lead researcher Dr. Sharon G. Curhan. "Acetaminophen may deplete factors that protect the cochlea from damage.
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Researchers’ findings are based on an examination of the relationship between frequency of aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen use and risk of hearing loss among 62,261 women – ages 31 to 48 years – enrolled in the long-running Nurses' Health Study II.
The women were monitored for 14 years, from 1995 to 2009, during which time more than 10,000 women reported hearing loss. The results showed women who used ibuprofen or acetaminophen two to three times per week were 11-13 percent more likely to suffer hearing loss than those who used the painkiller less than once per week. Women who used the medications four to five days per week had a 21 percent increased risk. Taking ibuprofen six or more days per week raised the risk 24 percent.
There was no association between aspirin use and hearing loss.
Over-the-counter analgesics are the most frequently used medications in the United States and are commonly used to treat a variety of medical conditions and pain problems.
"If individuals find a need to take these types of medications regularly, they should consult with their health care professional to discuss the risks and benefits and to explore other possible alternatives," said Curhan.
This study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

© HealthDay

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Women who routinely take ibuprofen or acetaminophen may face a greater risk of hearing loss.
Friday, 14 September 2012 01:34 PM
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