A new study suggests that Aspirin may increase the risk of developing wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). However the Macular Society says that, for patients at risk of heart attacks, the dangers of stopping or not taking aspirin are much higher.
The study of 2389 participants in Australia was conducted by Dr Gerald Liew and colleagues. They monitored people over a 15 year period, finding a 2.5 fold greater risk of incident of AMD with regular low-dose aspirin use.
Age-related macular degeneration affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK. More people are affected as our society ages.
Helen Jackman, Chief Executive of the Macular Society said: “We understand that patients will be concerned and they should discuss the risks with their doctors. Specialists we’ve consulted say that the evidence of a link between Aspirin and wet AMD is accumulating but it is not overwhelming. For patients with cardio-vascular disease who are taking Aspirin, the risk of heart attack is higher than the risk of developing wet AMD. In addition, there are treatments for wet AMD as long as it is diagnosed in time.
“However, patients with wet AMD in one eye should have their other eye carefully monitored so that any sign of wet AMD can be found quickly.
“We urge patients not to stop taking prescribed Aspirin without speaking to their doctors.”
For information, advice or support concerning macular disease, contact the Macular Society’s Helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
1) Macular disease causes a loss of central vision. The macula (correct) is the central and most sensitive part of the retina. People with advanced macular disease cannot read, drive or recognise faces. Half of all people in the UK registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired have macular disease.
2) The Macular Society is the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss. Our 15,000 members make us the biggest patient group in the sight loss sector and the voice of people with macular conditions. We provide free information and support to improve lives and ensure no one has to face macular disease alone. We have more than 250 Macular Society support group around the UK and beyond. We fund research so that one day we can overcome macular disease.
For more information on this press release contact Cathy Yelf, Head of External Relations, Macular Society on 01264 321976 or 07775 683 452
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