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Wednesday 17th September 2014
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Aspirin link to age-related vision loss

4th October 2011

There is a statistical link between the type of age-related vision loss known as macular degeneration and daily aspirin use, according to a recent Dutch study.

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The researchers found that the painkiller may speed up the progression rate of the eye disorder.

William Christen, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the study, said that it was probably not a good idea for people who had age-related macular degeneration to take aspirin.

Lead researcher Paulus de Jong, of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and Academic Medical Centre, said that the benefits of the drug could still outweigh its risks for people with cardiovascular disease who relied on aspirin.

Healthy eyes would be of no use to a dead body, he commented.

For the study, the researchers gathered data from several European countries regarding the health and lifestyle of people over the age of 65.

Out of about 4,700 people, 839 took aspirin every day.

Of those taking aspirin, 36 had advanced wet macular degeneration.

The number of people with advanced wet macular degeneration was about four for every 100 daily aspirin users.

By comparison, two out of every 100 people developed the same type of macular degeneration and did not take aspirin, or took it less frequently.

Wet macular degeneration is caused by blood vessels leaking in the eyes.

This leakage leads to the loss of visual acuity at the center of people's field of vision.

The dry form of the disorder, which is more common, can be less severe, and the researchers found that there was no statistical link between the dry form and aspirin use.

The researchers could not find a statistical link between aspirin use and the earlier stages of wet macular degeneration.

De Jong said that, due to the controversy over the link between heart disease and macular degeneration, he and his colleagues had tried as hard as they could to account for any statistical deviation that could have been caused by cardiovascular disease.

He said that, even after accounting for heart disease, the researchers still found a link between aspirin use and vision loss, and that larger studies would help resolve the issue.

Taken as a whole, wet and dry macular degeneration make up the leading cause of vision among people aged 60 and over.

 

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Comments

Anonymous

Wednesday 5th October 2011 @ 15:59

What dose of asprin was involved in this study- 75, 300, 500 mg/day?


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