Many conventional doctors advise their patients to pop one every day like a multivitamin in order to supposedly ward off heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer. But taking an aspirin as few times as once a week, especially when you are not actually sick or in pain, can be incredibly dangerous, especially for your eyesight. This is the conclusion of a recent study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found that "supplementing" at least once a week with aspirin can triple the risk of going blind.
For their study, researchers from Australia tracked nearly 2,400 middle-aged and elderly individuals for 15 years. Among this group, 257 individuals were determined to be "regular" uses of aspirin who took the drug at least once a week, while the rest were occasional users that took the drug less frequently. All participants were evaluated at the end of the study to determine their health status in conjunction with aspirin intake.
Upon analysis, the team found that only one in 27 of the "occasional" aspirin users developed a condition known as "wet" age-related macular degeneration, or neovascular AMD, which can lead to blindness. This figure represents 3.7 percent of all "occasional" users. But among "regular" aspirin users, nearly one in 10 developed the condition, or 9.4 percent, which represents a nearly threefold increase in blindness risk among those who take aspirin at least once a week.
"Regular aspirin use was significantly associated with an increased incidence of neovascular [wet] AMD," wrote the authors in their study conclusion. "The increased risk of age-related macular degeneration was only detected after 10 or 15 years, suggesting cumulative dosage of aspirin may be important," added study author Jie Jin Wang from the University of Sydney.
The study's authors and other commentators were quick to dismiss the findings, suggesting that they do not imply that patients should stop taking daily aspirin for disease prevention -- after all, just think of the immense profit losses that would result for the pharmaceutical industry. Some doctors even went so far as to manufacture ridiculous fear phrases like, "a healthy eye with full visual capacities is of no use in a dead body," suggesting that not taking aspirin will somehow kill you.
At the same time, these same doctors and researchers were unable to deny the fact that previous studies have also found a link between aspirin intake and blindness, including a 2011 study out of Europe which found that daily aspirin intake can double the risk of vision loss. Similarly, other previous studies have uncovered the fact that low-dose aspirin intake can lead to other serious health problems including intestinal bleeding and ulcers.