Study: Daily aspirin increases the risk for macular degeneration in seniors

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Daily doses of aspirin in elderly adults can double the risk for developing the “wet” version of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study.

The wet form of the eye disease refers to a more advanced version of the disorder, which is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Aspirin was not found to increase the risk for developing the more common but less-severe “dry” form of the disease. Many seniors take small doses of aspirin daily for pain, inflammation and to reduce the risk for heart disease.


To evaluate aspirin's effect on the disease, researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Academic Medical Center, analyzed data from 4,700 men and women across Europe. They caution that while more research is needed, they would advise patients with AMD not to use aspirin as a painkiller.

The study was published in the January issue of Ophthalmology .
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