RESEARCH PAPER
The association between paracetamol use and the risk of asthma, rhinitis and eczema in the Polish population
 
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1
Department of the Prevention of Environmental Hazards and Allergology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
2
Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland
3
Department of Peadiatric and Neonatology, Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affair, Warsaw, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2018;25(3):428–432
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
A growing number of epidemiological studies suggest that paracetamol, which is commonly used in children, may be a risk factor for asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic eczema.

Objective:
The aim of this study was to determine and characterize the correlation between paracetamol use and asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic eczema symptoms in the Polish population.

Material and methods:
The study is part of the ECAP project involving the use of the ISAAC and ECRHS questionnaires. Completed questionnaires of 18,617 subjects, including 10,011 (53.8%) females, were analyzed. Children aged 6–7 (n=4,510), adolescents aged 13–14 (n=4,721), and adults aged 20–44 (n=9,386) constituted 24.2%, 25.4%, and 50.4% of respondents, respectively. Study subjects lived in 8 major urban centres and one rural area. The frequency of paracetamol use during the previous 12 months and symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic eczema during that period were analyzed.

Results:
The use of paracetamol was associated with a significant dose-dependent increase in the risk of asthma symptoms in all evaluated age groups. This was demonstrated via odds ratios (OR) for developing asthma symptoms, including wheezing or whistling in the chest in 6–7-year-olds and exercise-induced shortness of breath in 13–14-year-olds and adults, depending on the frequency of paracetamol use in the previous 12 months, compared to no paracetamol intake during that period.

Conclusions:
The use of paracetamol in the last 12 months was associated with a significant dose-dependent increase in the risk of rhinitis and skin allergy symptoms, as demonstrated by the odds ratio. Therefore, frequent paracetamol use may be a risk factor for symptoms of asthma, rhinitis, and skin allergy in the Polish population.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Agnieszka Lipiec   
1. Department of the Prevention of Environmental Hazards and Allergology, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, ul.Banacha 1a, 02-097 Warszawa, Poland
 
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