Regular use of household painkillers including ibuprofen and paracetamol can lead to an increased risk of hearing loss in women, a new study has claimed.

London: Regular use of household painkillers including ibuprofen and paracetamol can lead to an increased risk of hearing loss in women, a new study has claimed. The study of more than 62,000 women found that taking the drugs just twice a week increases the risk of hearing loss by up to 13 per cent.

Using ibuprofen six times a week makes women up to 24 per cent more likely to develop some degree of hearing problem as compared with those who do not use the medication. Those using paracetamol up to five times a week increase the risk of hearing loss by 21 per cent, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. However, the same effect was not seen for women who regularly take aspirin.

Researchers who carried out the US study say they do not yet know why there is a link, or whether the damage caused is permanent. In the latest study, data was taken from the Nurses’ Health Study in the US, a national survey of 116,430 female registered nurses conducted over 14 years from 1995 to 2009. Women were asked how often they took paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin. The final results were adjusted to take into account other factors such as health problems, weight, vitamin deficiency and alcohol intake. The study identified more than 10,000 reported cases of hearing loss. “This prospective study showed that use of ibuprofen or paracetamol two or more days a week is associated with an increased risk of hearing loss in women and that the magnitude of the risk tends to be greater with increasing frequency of use,” Dr Sharon Curhan, author of the study, said. The same team had carried out similar research two years ago and found that men were also at risk of hearing loss from taking the drugs.

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