Taking aspirin regularly appears to slightly raise the risk of the eye condition known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, new research suggests.
The increased risk only occurred with people who had taken aspirin regularly 10 years before they were diagnosed with the potentially blinding eye disease. They had taken aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months, says researcher Barbara E.K. Klein, MD, MPH.
The risk was for the type of macular degeneration known as wet or neovascular AMD, says Klein, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison.
Wet macular degeneration is generally more severe than another version, known as dry macular degeneration.
Although people taking aspirin regularly were two times more likely to get the condition, Klein says the absolute risk is still low because the condition is not common. About 1% of people aged mid-40s and older get wet macular degeneration, she says.
Klein studied nearly 5,000 men and women, ages 43 and older. She followed them for 20 years, although not all of them stayed in the study that long.
The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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SOURCE: WebMD Health News