Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Aspirin & Macular Degeneration (AMD) Risk

Regular use of aspirin may increase your risk of developing age related macular degeneration (AMD). Aspirin is an often used over-the-counter medication due to its anticoagulant properties, it is effectiveness for headaches, body aches, fever, and reducing high risk of heart attack.  

However, in a 20 year long study of 5,000 patients published in December 2012 (Beaver Dam Eye Study), researchers gave participants eye examinations every five years. Results showed:
·         512 cases of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
·         117 cases of late AMD

Researchers found that regular aspirin-2 or more times per week-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. Researchers concluded that these associations, though small, were statistically significant. Interestingly, regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was significantly associated with the “wet” form of AMD, which accounts for the majority of functional blindness attributed to the disease. Further, in a more recent Australian study 24.5 percent, regular aspirin users developed wet AMD—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 higher risk of developing wet AMD. Researchers concluded, “Regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of incident neovascular [Wet] AMD, independent of history of cardiovascular disease and smoking.”

Alternatives to Aspirin
You should determine your AMD status as soon as possible through a complete eye exam, particularly if you are a regular aspirin user. To schedule an eye examination at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham by call 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or www.facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision is a leading Birmingham eye care practice with offices located with Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, at the UAB Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.