Updated on 23 January 2013
Regular aspirin consumption is associated with an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration
Singapore: Researchers at the Centre for Vision Research from the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research (WMI), a close affiliate of the University of Sydney, have found that regular aspirin consumption is associated with an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in older people.
The research shows that the risk appears to be independent of a history of smoking, which is also a known preventable risk factor for AMD.
Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications in the world with more than 100 billion tablets consumed each year. Aspirin is commonly used in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) and ischemic stroke.
While a five-year European study published last year suggested that regular aspirin use (defined as once or more per week in the past year) was associated with AMD, other studies had reported inconsistent findings.
The study by the Centre for Vision Research's Dr Gerald Liew, and colleagues was conducted over a much longer period and found clear evidence of the risk.