Aspirin & Your Risk of Macular Degeneration

Monday, February 3, 2014

Aspirin & Your Risk of Macular Degeneration

Aspirin is one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications-but, aspirin may increase your risk of macular degeneration (AMD)! Aspirin is often taken for headaches, body aches and fever, and even patients at high risk of heart attack due to atherosclerosis take daily aspirin therapy as a preventative measure, thanks to aspirin’s anticoagulant properties.

But beware-in The Beaver Dam Eye Study researchers found that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was associated with late AMD, with estimated incidence of 1.76 percent, compared to 1.03 percent in non-aspirin users. Even more meaningful was that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examinations was closely associated with the “wet” form of AMD, which accounts for 10 percent of all AMD cases, but is responsible for the majority of catastrophic vision loss attributed to the disease. While this might seem like a small numbers-they are statistically significant. Further, more recently researchers analyzed data from a 15-year Australian population-based cohort where they found that even after adjusting for other risk factors like age, sex, smoking, history of heart disease and body mass index, regular aspirin users still had a considerably higher risk of developing wet AMD and thus concluded that regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of wet neovascular AMD, independent of history of cardiovascular disease and smoking.

If you’re a regular aspirin user, you should get a thorough eye exam as soon as possible to determine your AMD status. This is extremely important because AMD often doesn’t show any symptoms until well after the condition has developed. If you or someone you know has questions about aspirin use and their risk of macular degeneration(AMD), please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.