There are fears that regular use of Aspirin has been linked with an increased risk of AMD.The condition mainly affects the elderly and results in progressive sight loss, occurring when the retina becomes damaged,resulting in a decline in retinal function. One study has stated that age related macular degeneration is likely to increase with a fifth of people over sixty years already presenting early signs of it.
Aspirin is a widely used drug with just under twenty percent of adults regularly using it. The figures are stated as use increasing with patients age.The results of cross-sectional studies of aspirin use and its relation to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have been inconsistent. AMD is potentially blinding for which prevalence and incidence are increasing with the marked increased survival of the population, and regular use of the drug aspirin is common and widespread in persons in the age range at highest risk for AMD.
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine study attempted to identify whether aspirin is associated with an increased risk of AMD.
Data was analysed from t he Beaver Dam Eye Study, a longitudinal population-based study of age-related eye diseases. A total of 4,926 people participated.
Every five years, from 1998-1990 through 2008-2010, examinations were carried out. They asked them about their aspirin use, in particular whether they took aspirin more than twice a week for over 3 months.
Over the course of the study they found that 512 people developed early AMD and 117 developed late AMD. It was found that a higher percentage of regular aspirin users developed late AMD compared to patients who did not use the drug.
There was no association found between aspirin use and incidence of early AMD.
The authors conclude that the findings are consistent with a small but statistically significant association between regular aspirin use and incidence of neovascular AMD. Additional replication will be required to confirm observations. If confirmed, defining the causal mechanisms may be important in developing methods to block the effect to prevent or retard the development of neovascular AMD in persons who use aspirin, especially to prevent CVD.