Is Aspirin Bad for Your Eyes?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – As we age, we are at an increased risk for many health complications. Now a new study is suggesting that something that people take to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease could be linked to an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which a leading cause of blindness in older people.
Aspirin is one of the most used medications in the world. It is commonly used to prevent cardiovascular disease, like ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Researchers at the University of Sydney, Australia examined whether regular aspirin use (once or more a week) was associated with a higher risk of developing AMD by analyzing data from an Australian study, including four examinations from a 15 year period. Out of the 2,389 participants, 257 (10.8%) used aspirin regularly. Following the 15 year follow-up, 63 patients (24.5%) developed neovscular AMD.
"The cumulative incidence of neovascular AMD among non-regular aspirin users was 0.8 percent at five years, 1.6 percent at 10 years, and 3.7 percent at 15 years; among regular aspirin users, the cumulative incidence was 1.9 percent at five years, 7 percent at 10 years and 9.3 percent at 15 years, respectively. Regular aspirin use was significantly associated with an increased incidence of neovascular AMD,” Gerald Liew, PhD, and colleagues were quoted as saying.
Also, the authors believe that any decision to stop taking aspirin as therapy is based on the individual and can be very complex.
"Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend changing clinical practice, except perhaps in patients with strong risk factors for neovascular AMD (e.g., existing late AMD in the fellow eye) in whom it may be appropriate to raise the potentially small risk of incident neovascular AMD with long-term aspirin therapy," Dr. Liew and colleagues conclude.
SOURCE: JAMA Internal Medicine, January 2013