The mechanism through which painkillers could cause kidney disease is the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis with resulting papillary and tubular injury, and ultimately damage to DNA.
The study analyzed data from 77,525 women in the Nurses' Health Study and from 49,403 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. www.kkaggarwal.com
The risk was related to the duration of use of the painkiller. It was 19 percent lower if the painkiller was used for more than four years and less than ten years. The risk increased by 36% when the pain killer was used for more than four years. The risk increased almost three times for those who used these drugs regularly for 10 years or more.
The good news is that Kidney cancer is uncommon so the risk is small for average users. Two other important causes of kidney cancer are obesity and smoking. So people on painkillers should not smoke and should keep their weight under control to prevent kidney cancer.