Data from a large European study has linked daily aspirin use to increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers found that people aged 65 and older who took aspirin daily had double the risk of developing wet AMD, compared with those who took it less frequently. They also found a somewhat elevated risk of early-stage AMD in daily aspirin users, but no higher risk was found for advanced dry AMD.
Because aspirin is often recommended to patients with cardiovascular disease, researchers carefully analysed whether participants’ heart health affected the study’s outcomes. But even when cardiovascular status was factored in, the results showed higher risk for wet AMD in patients who used aspirin daily.
The researchers say medical professionals should adhere to their current advice on aspirin for older patients with cardiovascular disease until other studies confirm the link between daily aspirin use and wet AMD risk. This research was part of the European Eye Study that examined more than 4,600 Europeans between 2000 and 2003.