Study: Regular aspirin use linked to vision loss

The study is not the first to link aspirin and macular degeneration, but other research has produced conflicting results.

An Australian study found an increased risk of macular degeneration associated with regular aspirin use.

The study of nearly 2,400 Australians, reported by Med Page Today, found that rates of age-related macular degeneration, which is associated with vision loss, were higher among regular aspirin users. However, the study said "the evidence is insufficient to adjudicate the relationship between aspirin" and vision loss.

The results of the study were published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

While the study cautions that "actual causality remains uncertain," it is not the first one to link aspirin and vision loss. ABC reported that past studies between the relationship of age-related macular degeneration and routine aspirin use have also suggested a link, though other studies produced conflicting results.

This recent study looked at Australians age 49 and older. The participants had retinal examinations every five years and reported their aspirin use on a questionnaire. Of the 2,389 participants, 257 were regular aspirin users.

The study spanned 15 years, during which 63 people suffered macular degeneration.

The study found that the incidence of macular degeneration among nonusers of aspirin was 0.8 percent, 1.6 percent and 3.7 percent at the five-, 10- and 15-year marks. For regular aspirin users, those figures were 1.9 percent, 7 percent and 9.3 percent.

Overall, the researchers said "the risk is small" and aspirin is an effective treatment for certain conditions. Also, compared to nonusers, regular aspirin users in the study tended to be older and more likely to have other conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

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