Study says older adults using aspirin are at risk of suffering from age-related disorder
A new study has found that the older adults who use aspirin on a regular basis for 10 years or more may have an increased risk of developing age-related eye disorder that can lead to loss of vision.
The risk of having wet age-related macular degeneration was about twice as high for those who regularly took aspirin a decade before the researchers detected it in an eye exam as compared with those who did not take the medicine.
The authors also said, about 19% of the U.S. adults take aspirin regularly for pain, arthritis and to prevent heart attacks. The people should not stop taking medicine because its benefits are well-known, but instead more studies are needed to understand how aspirin may contribute to the eye disorder.
According to the Macular Degeneration Association, about 9.1 million people in the U.S. older than 40 suffer from the condition and about 90% have the dry type where vision slowly becomes blurry.
The remaining has the wet type where new blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid or blood. The wet type accounts for all blindness from the disease. The researchers used the data from the Beaver Dam Eye Study, a long-term study of age-related eye diseases. They included 4,926 people who were in the age-group of 43 to 86 at the start of the trial.
The patients’ exams were conducted every five years over two decades. Patients were also asked if they regularly used aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months.
The study also found that aspirin use 10 years before the exam in which the researchers observed patients as having macular degeneration was associated with a small but significant increase in the risk of developing wet or neovascular age-related macular degeneration. No relation was seen between the aspirin use and the dry form of the eye disorder or for shorter-term use of aspirin.
A neuro-ophthalmologist at Montefiore Center in Bronx said, the findings show that regular aspirin use may be another small risk factor for age-related macular degeneration. Other risk factors include the age, race, cigarette smoking, alcohol ingestion and genetics.