Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: January 28th, 2013
Regular aspirin use linked to macular degeneration

A friend of mine was diagnosed with macular degeneration recently. And, quite frankly, scared the snot out of me since it can lead to blindness. When I saw this headline for this article, I had to read it and felt compelled to share it with you since this is not an uncommon occurrence among older people. File this under “the more you know…”

The research article ran in JAMA this month and according to Sci-News.com, links macular degeneration (also known as AMD) to regular aspirin use. A group of Australian researchers discovered the link. According to the article:

“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 new study was conducted over a much longer period and found clear evidence of the risk.

The team conducted an analysis of data from an Australian study – the Blue Mountains Eye Study – that included four examinations during a 15-year period. Of 2,389 participants, 257 individuals (10.8 percent) were regular aspirin users. After the 15-year follow-up, 63 individuals from the 2,389 participants developed incident neovascular AMD.”

Aspirin is often prescribed to help prevent cardio vascular disease.

Should you stop taking aspirin if you so so regularly? The experts say no, adding that there is insufficient evidence, “except perhaps in patients with strong risk factors.” Best to talk to your physician.

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