Historically, researchers have pointed to the use of low-dose (baby) aspirin—a commonly prescribed treatment to quell heart attacks or strokes in some at-risk patients—as a potential factor in the development of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).1,2 This put patients in the position of keeping their hearts healthy while endangering their vision.

However, new research out of Seoul is showing that making this unfortunate decision may have been for naught.3 The investigators there reviewed the medical records of 482,613 patients for a period of five years.3 The team uncovered that, while the unmatched incidence of wet AMD was 3.5 per 10,000 among non-users of aspirin and 7.2 per 10,000 among regular users, a propensity score–adjusted analysis actually shows no association at all between aspirin use and wet AMD. In fact, when using techniques that account for several covariates, incidences of wet AMD were closer to 7.5 for non-users and 7.1 for regular aspirin users.

“This large-scale study suggests that regular, long-term use of low-dose aspirin appears to be safe with respect to the new development of neovascular age-related macular degeneration,” the study concludes.

1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Daily aspirin therapy: understand the benefits and risks. Mayo Clinic. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/daily-aspirin-therapy/art-20046797. Feb. 21, 2018. Accessed September 25, 2018.

2. Liew G, Mitchell P, Wong T, et al. The association of aspirin use with age-related macular degeneration. Jama Intern Med. 2013;173(4):258-64.

3. Rim T, Yoo T, Kwak J, et al. Long-term regular use of low-dose aspirin and neovascular age-related macular degeneration: national sample cohort 2010–2015. Ophthalmology. www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(18)31442-8/pdf. September 18, 2018. Accessed September 25, 2018.