herald

Saturday 23 August 2014

Aspirin users could double risk of blindness in old age

Regular use of aspirin can more than double the risk of a leading cause of blindness in older people, research shows.

Scientists found a significant link between taking aspirin on a regular basis and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The association could not be explained by a history of heart disease -- the most common reason for regular aspirin use -- or smoking.

AMD occurs when the middle of the retina becomes damaged, leading to the progressive blurring of central vision. Regular use was defined as taking aspirin once or more per week.

Among non-regular users, rates of AMD rose from 0.8pc at five years to 1.6pc at 10 years and 3.7pc at 15 years.

Corresponding rates for regular aspirin users were 1.9pc, 7pc, and 9.3pc.

hnews@herald.ie

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