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article imageStudy: Regular aspirin use more likely to cause blindness?

By Layne Weiss     Jan 22, 2013 in Health
Sydney - New Australian research has found that people who take aspirin regularly, such as those with heart problems, may be more likely to develop a form of blindness called 'wet' age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) than those who do not.
Wet AMD affects a quarter of a million people, mostly elderly, in Britain, The Telegraph reports.
The disease causes one's central vision to become progressively worse over time leading to blindness.
Researchers from the Westmead Millenium Institute for Medical Research in Sydney studied 2,389 people at the Institute's Center for Vision Research and discovered 63 cases of neo-vascular or late-stage AMD, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The patients were all at least 49 years old at the start of the study, which lasted 15 years, The Telegraph reports.
The center's director, Professor Paul Mitchell, said 9.3% of regular aspirin users developed the condition after 15 years while the 3.7% of those who did not take it regularly did not develop the condition.
Professor Mitchell, however, also said that the study, which is published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine "could not conclude aspirin was the cause of AMD."
He said there was not yet enough evidence to "change aspirin use, BBC News reports.
Taking low doses of aspirin daily does reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack in patients with heart disease, and some research has shown it can even prevent cancer.
Professor Mitchell still feels doctors should still generally recommend aspirin for their patients, obviously depending on medical history. He suggests the possibility of developing wet AMD is another of many adverse effects of aspirin.
Just as doctors discuss other possible side effects of aspirin with their patients, Professor Jie Jin Wang, an expert in vision research at Sydney University believes AMD is something doctors should discuss with high-risk patients, BBC News reports.
More about regular aspirin use, Blindness, vision becomes more blurred over time, Amd, heart attack prevention
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