In an article published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers in Australia found a link between the regular use of aspirin and the development of the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In this study, which followed patients for a period of 15 years, they found that regular aspirin use (defined as once or more per week) increased the risk of developing wet AMD, from 3.7% in non-regular aspirin users to 9.3% in regular users after 15 years. Of note, no increased risk was found for the other severe form of macular degeneration called geographic atrophy.
The methods used in this study have both strengths and weaknesses. It should be pointed out that prior studies examining the relationship between aspirin use and AMD have yielded inconsistent results, with some agreeing with this study, others actually finding a protective effect, and still others finding inconclusive results.
|Milton Kahn, M.D.|
Aspirin clearly plays an important role in the treatment of patients who have suffered a prior heart attack. It’s role for the prevention of a first heart attack is less certain. For patients who are concerned about what they should do, the best course of action is to discuss these concerns with their ophthalmologist. Together, they can weigh the risks and benefits given their particular medical situation, the reason they are taking aspirin, and their risk of developing wet AMD, and come to a decision about their continued use of aspirin.
Milton Kahn M.D., Retina Specialist at The Eye Care & Surgery Center
If you have questions, need an appointment or wish to learn more about aspirin and macular degeneration please call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999, visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or facebook.com/eyecareandsurgerycenter.
The Eye Care & Surgery Center is staffed by a team of Board Certified NJ Ophthalmologists who are subspecialty Fellowship trained New Jersey eye surgeons, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, surgery for cataracts, intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgery including eyelid surgery and facial and skin rejuvenation as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services.
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