The May 3, 2005 Medical News Today reported on a study that showed that Acetaminophen, more commonly known as Tylenol, if used daily was associated with a greater prevalence of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as directly related to decreased lung function. The original study was published in the May 1st 2005 issue of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Researchers from Britain looked at data from a US survey involving 13,492 participants who were part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey which took place from 1988 to 1994. Participants in the survey were asked whether they had taken aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen during the previous month. The replies to the survey were then divided into "never users;" "occasional users" (1 to 5 times in the past month); "regular users" (6 to 29 times during the past month); and "daily users" (more than 29 times during the last month). This information was then compared to see if there was a correlation.
The researchers found that those who reported daily use of acetaminophen were nearly twice as likely as non-users to have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They noted that the results also showed that neither the use of aspirin nor the use of ibuprofen was associated with the prevalence of either asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Researchers also noted that there was a direct relationship between an increase in asthma and a decrease in lung function, with an increased usage of acetaminophen.
In the published report researchers concluded; "This study provides further evidence that use of acetaminophen is associated with an increased risk of asthma and COPD, and with decreased lung function." They noted that acetaminophen use can cause an increase in asthma risk with potential effects on the onset, progression, and severity of the disease.