CfA seminar: Paracetamol and asthma: a causal link?
Welcome to the CfA seminar by Prof. Seif Shaheen, Queen Mary University of London, UK. Host: Catarina Almqvist Malmros, Dept. of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Title of the seminar: Paracetamol and asthma: a causal link?
About Professor Seif Shaheen
Seif Shaheen is Clinical Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. After training in general medicine he trained in epidemiology and completed a PhD under the guidance of David Barker, which nurtured his interest in the early life origins of respiratory disease. In 2000 he proposed that frequent paracetamol use may be a risk factor for asthma and first confirmed a relation in adults. This was followed by the novel discovery of an association between frequent use in pregnancy and increased risk of asthma and raised IgE in childhood. To date, over twenty epidemiological studies have confirmed a link between paracetamol use and asthma across the life course.
In this talk Seif will explain the rationale behind the hypothesis and summarise the epidemiological evidence; he will describe approaches used to strengthen causal inference, why links with infant use may be confounded, and why he thinks that the evidence implicating prenatal exposure is more robust; he will conclude with mention of some recent experimental studies in animal models and the challenges of trying to carry out definitive randomised controlled trials in humans.