Daily aspirin use and macular degeneration

A new European study, led by Dr. de Jong, which was published in January, in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is linking daily aspirin use to an increased risk of age related macular degeneration.

According to the study seniors who take aspirin daily are twice as likely to have late stage macular degeneration, which is an age related loss of vision, versus people who never take aspirin.

Dr. de Jong’s research was part of the European Eye Study. The study, which was done between 2000 and 2003, examined and surveyed almost 4,700 Europeans over the age of 65.

Out of the 839 people who took aspirin daily, it was found that 36, (which is about 4 out of every 100), had an advanced form of the disease called wet macular degeneration.When compared to those who took aspirin less frequently, it was found that roughly 2 out of every 100 people had the same type of macular degeneration.

The wet form of the condition is caused by leaking blood vessels in the eyes, which leads to vision loss in the center of the eye’s field of vision. The dry form is more common and less severe, however people still suffer visual impairment.

Together, wet and dry macular degeneration make up the leading causes of vision loss among people over the age of 60.

Researchers have found that aspirin use was not tied to the dry form; it was also not linked to earlier stages of the disease. Dr. de Jong did add that larger studies which follow more people over a longer period of time would be beneficial to solve the role aspirin plays in macular degeneration.

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