Chronic users of analgesic drugs containing phenacetin are at increased risk of developing hypertension and of dying from cancer or diseases of the kidneys, heart or circulatory system.
So concludes a 20 year long follow up study of 623 then healthy women aged 30 to 49 who regularly took phenacetin for chronic aches and pains.According to the study, the women who took phenacetin containing painkillers doubled their chances of dying. They were l6 times more likely to have a kidney disease or one in the urinary tract, almost twice as likely to die of cancer, and almost three times as likely to die of heart disease.
The risk of developing cardiovascular disease was nearly two to one.
The study did not find a similar risk in analgesics containing salicylates (like aspirin).