Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Benefits of Low-Dose Aspirin Outweigh Slight Risk of Amd

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Benefits of Low-Dose Aspirin Outweigh Slight Risk of Amd

Article excerpt

DEAR DOCTOR K: I take a daily aspirin to prevent a heart attack. I just read that aspirin can cause macular degeneration. Should I stop taking it?

DEAR READER: No, you shouldn't stop taking aspirin. Medicine -- and life -- is full of trading off one risk for another. Doctors and medical scientists aren't (yet) smart enough to discover or invent treatments that have absolutely no risks, only benefits.

I'll bet you read about a recent study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which linked aspirin use with a small increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But this increased risk was far smaller than the proven benefits of aspirin for preventing a heart attack.

AMD is an eye condition. It damages the macula, a small part of the retina of the eye that is responsible for sharp central vision. There are two forms of AMD. "Dry" AMD is the most common. Some people with it have no symptoms; others have vision loss. Dry macular degeneration can progress to "wet" AMD. In this form, abnormal blood vessels in the eye leak fluid and blood, sometimes causing loss of vision.

The study that linked aspirin and AMD has followed nearly 5,000 adults for decades to see how their eyesight changes as they age. Participants in the study were checked for signs of macular degeneration every five years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.