Study: Use of acetaminophen linked to hypertension

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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen also increase risk

Out of a group of 80,000 women surveyed, those who regularly took acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – and had no previous history of high blood pressure – had a significantly elevated risk of becoming hypertensive. For example, women who took NSAIDs for 22 or more days per month increased their risk by 86 percent. Those who used acetaminophen as regularly were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure. “We decided to study these drugs because they are so widely used and could affect blood pressure,” said researcher Gary Curhan. “Up until now, however, little has been done to assess their long-term impacts on blood pressure, particularly when they are taken with any kind of frequency.” Curhan said that women typically take acetaminophen and ibuprofen more often than men. The women studied were all between the ages of 31 and 50. “We are not saying that people should abandon using these drugs,” said Curhan. “We are simply making people aware that there are potential health risks to consider whenever a drug is taken frequently.”