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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported December 20, 2012

Is Aspirin Hurting Your Eyesight?


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Aspirin is a commonly used drug in the United States; people take it to prevent heart attacks and to relieve minor pains. But, could aspirin raise your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration? A new study says it very well could. 
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health analyzed the results from the Beaver Dam Eye Study in which 4,926 people between the ages of 43 and 86 eye exams every five years over a 20-year period. Participants were also asked whether they have taken aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months. 
Out of all of the people who participated in the study, 512 developed early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and 117 developed late age-related macular degeneration. In the study researchers found a correlation between regular aspirin use ten years before the retinal examination and late AMD, suggesting that taking aspirin regularly could increase the risk for the eye-related ailment.
“Our findings are consistent with a small but statistically significant association between regular aspirin use and incidence of neovascular AMD,” the study authors were quoted as saying.
On the other hand, no association between the cases of early AMD and aspirin use five to ten years prior to the retinal examination was seen. 
So regularly taking aspirin may increase the risk of AMD later on in life, but since the risk is so small the health benefits may outweigh the possible future complications. Ultimately, it’s a decision people should decide for themselves. 
Source: JAMA, 19 December 2012 
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