Boston—Longer duration of ibuprofen or acetaminophen use is associated with higher risk of hearing loss, according to new research using data from the Nurses’ Health Study. The report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology adds to growing evidence linking the OTC painkillers to loss of hearing. Why that might be occurring is not understood, however, according to the study team led by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Data from more than 54,000 women between the ages of 48 and 73 enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study was used for the analysis. The team did not find a significant association between hearing loss and duration of usual-dose aspirin use, although hearing loss is an established side effect of high dosages of aspirin, which have become increasingly less common in recent years.

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