The global rise in asthma over the past 50 years, which has mystified doctors for decades, may be linked to the growing use of paracetamol, researchers suggest today.
A major international study, involving more than 200,000 children in 31 countries, has found those treated with paracetamol in the first year of life had a 46 per cent increased risk of developing asthma by the age of seven.
The risk was up to three times higher among children who were the heaviest users of the drug, indicating a strong dose-dependent link. The study, published in The Lancet, adds to a growing body of evidence linking the painkiller with the disabling lung condition. Eczema and rhinitis were also increased. Previous research has linked asthma with exposure to paracetamol in the womb, infancy, childhood and adulthood.
A study by the Global Allergy and Asthma Network of 1,000 people, half of whom had asthma, found the incidence of the condition was increased threefold in people who used the drug weekly.
The results are published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Source - Independent