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Daily aspirin may raise risk of age-related macular degeneration
Daily aspirin may raise risk of age-related macular degeneration

(January 25, 2013 - Insidermedicine)

Taking a daily aspirin could increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, according to research published online first in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Here is some information about age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD:

•    It is a condition in which the macula of the eye, which is responsible for central vision, begins to degenerate or break down

•    It generally occurs among people aged 50 and older

•    It is a leading cause of blindness in older people

Researchers from of the University of Sydney followed nearly 2,400 individuals for 15 years, examining their eyes four times over that period to look for signs of AMD. At the outset of the study, the participants completed detailed questionnaires about their use of aspirin as well as their risk factors for cardiovascular disease and AMD.

After taking into account other health factors known to affect AMD risk, including cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and smoking, those who took aspirin daily were more than twice as likely as nonusers of aspirin to develop AMD over the 15 year study period. As the dose of aspirin taken increased, so did the AMD risk.

Taking daily aspirin can be life-saving for some individuals, so you should never stop taking it without consulting your health care provider. If you know you are at very high risk for AMD or have already developed the condition in one eye and are taking aspirin, it might be worth discussing the benefits and risks of continuing to take aspirin with a health care expert.