Aspirin use tied to age-related vision loss
Published: Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 5:56 p.m.
Taking at least one aspirin every week is linked to the development of age-related vision loss, according to an Australian study that looked at information collected over 15 years.
More than 100 billion aspirin tablets are consumed every year, commonly in the prevention of heart attacks or strokes.
In 2011, a European study found that seniors who took a daily aspirin were twice as likely to develop vision loss such as macular degeneration, compared with those who did not — prompting new study leader Jie Jin Wang into trying to confirm its findings.
Overall, Wang, from the University of Sydney, and her colleagues had information on 2,389 people older than 45. Of those, 257 said they took at least one aspirin every week.
By the end of the study, 63 people had developed so-called wet macular degeneration, the most severe form. A total of 5.8 percent of regular aspirin users developed the vision loss, compared with 2.3 percent of people who did not regularly take aspirin.
“Regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of incident neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration, independent of a history of cardiovascular disease and smoking,” Wang and her colleagues wrote.
They warned, though, that there's still not enough evidence to say taking aspirin leads to the condition.
But in a commentary published with the study, Sanjay Kaul and George Diamond cautioned that the study had limitations, noting that previous studies had found mixed results when looking at aspirin use and vision loss.
They wrote that the evidence was not convincing enough for doctors to change how they prescribe aspirin, especially with its benefits in preventing heart attack and stroke.
“In the final analysis, decisions about aspirin use are best made by balancing the risks against the benefit in context of each individual's medical history and value judgment,” they wrote.
Wang agreed that the findings are not strong enough to support a change in clinical practice, but she said some doctors may want to keep a closer watch on patients at higher risk for macular degeneration who are using aspirin.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former National Security Agency contractor Snowden’s leaks to cost billions, take years to fix
- El Nino could bring relief to U.S.
- Holocaust survivor sues Germany in looted art claim
- ‘Senior officers should not do that,’ Army leader says in pleading guilty to misconduct charges
- Sex-crimes prosecutor accused in groping
- Lawmakers vote to bar ‘upskirt’ photos in Massachusetts
- Ads tell Colo. pot users to keep off roads
- ‘Drug czar’ cleared to lead Border Patrol
- Tenn. homicide suspect shot mom in 2004
- Health marketplace targets not signing up, survey shows
- Maryland bill would link criminal, gun owners data