Using Aspirin regularly may increase Macular Degeneration Risk

A recent study shows there may be a link between regular aspirin use and a slightly increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. AMD in its most severe form is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65.

A word of caution: You should not stop taking aspirin based on this information. Although there may be a slightly higher risk of AMD if you have used aspirin regularly, this risk does not outweigh the benefit of taking aspirin to prevent heart disease and heart attack. Talk to your doctor before making any decision about medication you are currently taking.

About 1 in 5 adults take aspirin regularly, according to the New York Times.

The study – conducted by lead author Dr. Barbara Klein and others – found regular use of aspirin doubled the risk of developing wet AMD symptoms. This advanced form of AMD arises in about 1 in 200 older adults, and the risk can rise to 1 in 100 older adults who regularly take aspirin. Regular use was defined as at least twice a week for more than three months.

The study does not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but it does show there may be a meaningful association between aspirin and AMD. The findings in the study are quite useful insofar as they point to the importance of seeing a doctor if you begin experiencing vision problems, particularly if you take aspirin regularly.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

If you are interested in learning more about your risk of macular degeneration, please find an eye doctor in your area through the directory.