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Aspirin May Increase Risk For Macular Degeneration

Filed December 19th, 2012 Laurie

New research suggests that taking aspirin may contribute to a higher risk of macular degeneration (AMD), a potentially blinding eye condition.

There are two types of the condition: wet (late) AMD and dry (early) AMD. Wet AMD tends to be the most serious kind of AMD. The risk was found primarily in people with wet AMD who had taken aspirin regularly for 10 years before they were diagnosed. They took aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months. According to Barbara E.K. Klein, MD, MPH, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, people who take aspirin are two times more likely to develop the condition, WebMD Health News reported.

Michael Tolentino, MD, medical director of the Macular Degeneration Association and an ophthalmologist in Lakeland, Florida, said that people who take aspirin should weigh the risk of AMD against the benefits of taking aspiring before deciding whether or not to stop their aspirin regimen, and noted that a person’s risk for AMD also increased for people with a family history of the disease, who have light eyes, and who are smokers. “Everything is a risk-benefit ratio,” Tolentino told WebMD Health News.

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