London, Sept 18 : People who regularly use paracetamol are at three fold risk of having asthma, a new research has found.
However, the same effect is not seen in infrequent users.
The study, which was carried out by the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, has been published in the European Respiratory Journal and will be presented at the next Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society in Berlin next month.
To reach the conclusion, researchers questioned over 500 adults with asthma and over 500 people without asthma about the use of painkillers.
It was suggested that the link between asthma and paracetamol may be due to the action of the drug as it reduces levels of 'glutathione' in the lungs and this is needed to defend the delicate airways against damage from pollution and smoke.
"Epidemiological evidence is growing that shows a link between paracetamol and asthma. Since 2000, several publications have reported this association for instance in the UK and the USA. We have also shown that asthma prevalence is higher in children and adults in countries with higher paracetamol sales," Telegraph quoted study author Dr Seif Shaheen from Imperial College London, as saying.
"Considering asthma is a common disease and paracetamol use is frequent, it is now important to find out whether this association is really a causal one. A clinical trial may be the only way to answer this question conclusively," the researcher said.