Did you know that using Aspirin regularly could lead to early Macular Degeneration?
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Macular degeneration is a condition which largely affects the elderly and results in a progressive loss of vision. It occurs when the retina becomes damaged, leading to a slow decline in retinal function.
A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals:
“Aspirin use in the United States is widespread, with an estimated 19.3 percent of adults reporting regular consumption, and reported use increases with age. The results of cross-sectional studies of aspirin use and its relation to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have been inconsistent.
Macular degeneration is a potentially blinding condition for which prevalence and incidence are increasing with the increased survival of the population, and regular use of aspirin is common and becoming more widespread in persons in the age range at highest risk for this disease. Therefore, it is imperative to further examine this potential association.”
Aspirin is frequently used to relive pain and for suspected heart health benefits. Its use is of concern however, to eye doctors when eye surgery is being considered and also if age-related macular degeneration (AMD) might be present.
In the “Beaver Dam Eye Study, examinations were performed every 5 years over a 20-year period (1988-1990 through 2008-2010). About 5000 study subjects who were aged 43 to 86 years were followed. At subsequent examinations, participants were asked if they had regularly used aspirin at least twice a week for more than 3 months.
The results showed: regular aspirin use 10 years prior was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of incident late and neovascular AMD.
A higher percentage of regular aspirin users were found to develop late AMD compared to nonusers (1.8 percent vs. 1.0 percent). 1.4 percent of the aspirin users developed neovascular AMD compared to only 0.6 percent of nonusers. Here is a link to the JAMA article.