A large prospective analysis found that aspirin may be a better choice in terms of preserving one's ability to fully experience Bieber: The Later Years.
PROBLEM: Aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are all associated with an increased risk of hearing loss in men. This is the first study to look prospectively at this association in women.
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METHODOLOGY: Questionnaires were sent every two years to 116,430 women -- nurses, actually, as the participants were part of the Nurses' Health Study II -- who were aged 31-48 in 1995, when the study began. Each time they responded, the woman were asked to report how often, on average, they took aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. By 2009, 77,956 women were still responding to the survey; and 23.8 percent of them reported that they were experience hearing problems. After excluding those whose hearing problems had begun before 1995, those who had a history of cancer, and those who experience tinnitus, the researchers narrowed the respondents down to 10,012 women and analyzed the association between their loss of hearing and their use of the three analgesics.
RESULTS: When the study began, 69 percent of the women reported using NSAIDs (a category which includes ibuprofen -- they were asked about ibuprofen specifically beginning in 1999), 62 percent used acetaminophen, and 30 percent used aspirin. After adjusting for a variety of risk factors for hearing loss, including age, race, BMI, alcohol consumption, the intake of various vitamins and nutrients, physical activity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and menopausal status, the analysis indicated that the combined use of all three analgesics increased the women's risk of hearing loss by 34 percent.