Results from an Australian study suggest that regular use of aspirin may be associated with an elevated risk for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, according to a report published January 21, 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine. In the study, one or more times a week was considered regular use. Older people who used aspirin regularly had double the risk of the eye disease.
Years ago, aspirin was the drug of choice for people with arthritis. I was prescribed 8 aspirin a day when first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1974. There have been many new arthritis medications developed and marketed since then, including many other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Some people take a daily dose of low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack. Some studies have suggested low-dose aspirin can be beneficial for people with certain types of cancer, too. While the link between aspirin and neovascular age-related macular degeneration is concerning, experts have said that prospective randomized studies should be done before advising patients to change their current use of aspirin. In other words, don't panic. Talk to your doctor.
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