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Paracetamol use linked to asthma in teenagers: research
08-14-2010, 05:51 PM,
Paracetamol use linked to asthma in teenagers: research
Quote:A study of more than 300,000 teenagers, aged 13 and 14, found those who took paracetamol once a month were 2.5 times as likely to have asthma than those who never took it.

Those who used it once a year were 50 per cent more likely to have asthma, it was found.

The research also linked paracetamol use to allergic nasal congestion and eczema.

A team from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand conducted the study and said that although it cannot determine if paracetamol was definitely the cause of the increased risk of asthma, eczema and nasal allergies, there was growing evidence that this was the case.

They suggested that the painkiller might interfere with the immune system and cause inflammation in the airways.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Lead author Dr Richard Beasley, professor of medicine, said because paracetamol is so widely used almost half of severe asthma cases might be prevented if paracetamol were avoided.

He said: "The overall population attributable risks for current symptoms of severe asthma were around 40 per cent, suggesting that if the associations were causal, they would be of major public health significance.

"Randomised controlled trials are now urgently required to investigate this relationship further and to guide the use of antipyretics, not only in children but in pregnancy and adult life."

There are five million people in Britain with asthma and many others suffer with eczema and nasal congestion brought on by allergic reactions.

Teenagers who used paracetamol once a year were 38 per cent more likely to have allergic nasal congestion and those who used it once a month were more than twice as likely to have the condition than those who never took the painkiller.

For eczema, once yearly users of paracetamol were almost a third more likely to have the skin condition and once a month users were just under twice as likely to have it as non-users.
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