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PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22551. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022551. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Frequent use of paracetamol and risk of allergic disease among women in an Ethiopian population.

Author information

  • 1School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. alamwo1@yahoo.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The hypothesis that paracetamol might increase the risk of asthma and other allergic diseases have gained support from a range of independent studies. However, in studies based in developed countries, the possibility that paracetamol and asthma are associated through aspirin avoidance is difficult to exclude.

OBJECTIVES:

To explore this hypothesis among women in a developing country, where we have previously reported aspirin avoidance to be rare.

METHODS:

In 2005/6 a population based cohort of 1065 pregnant women was established in Butajira, Ethiopia and baseline demographic data collected. At 3 years post birth, an interview-based questionnaire administered to 945 (94%) of these women collected data on asthma, eczema, and hay fever in the past 12 month, frequency of paracetamol use and potential confounders. Allergen skin tests to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and cockroach were also performed. The independent effects of paracetamol use on allergic outcomes were determined using multiple logistic regression analysis.

FINDINGS:

The prevalence of asthma, eczema and hay fever was 1.7%, 0.9% and 3.8% respectively; of any one of these conditions 5.5%, and of allergen sensitization 7.8%. Paracetamol use in the past month was reported by 29%, and associations of borderline significance were seen for eczema (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 8.51 (1.68 to 43.19) for 1-3 tablets and 2.19 (0.36 to 13.38) for ≥4 tablets, compared to no tablets in the past month; overall p = 0.055) and for 'any allergic condition' (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 2.73 (1.22 to 6.11) for 1-3 tablets and 1.35 (0.67 to 2.70) for ≥4 tablets compared to 0 in the past month; overall p = 0.071).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides further cross-sectional evidence that paracetamol use increases the risk of allergic disease.

PMID:
21811632
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3141069
Free PMC Article

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