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The scant benefits of low-dose aspirin therapy are not worth the risk of blindness

Look again

Ten years ago, when your doctor recommended a daily low-dose aspirin for heart health, he might have pumped up the sales pitch with the added promise that it could possibly reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Right. And pigs could fly if they had a credit card and a ride to the airport.

But by 2009 your doc would have probably dropped any mention of AMD while discussing aspirin therapy — by then, studies showed there was likely no benefit in that area.

So…what do you suppose your doctor will say now that the aspirin/AMD connection has come full circle with some very disturbing news for anyone who values their eyesight?

The math is simple…

Here’s the new evidence that every doctor who’s ever recommended daily aspirin therapy will have to somehow come to terms with…

Researchers in the Netherlands examined more than 4,000 elderly subjects. Nearly 840 of them said they took a daily low-dose aspirin. When records of AMD were compared, results showed that those who used aspirin were TWO TIMES more likely to develop “wet” AMD — the advanced form of the disease that sharply increases risk of blindness.

Now, this does not prove that aspirin promotes wet AMD. But until further research reveals what’s going on, the link is significant and has to be taken seriously.

The pro-aspirin types are so entrenched that they’ve already developed a theory that would discount these results. According to this theory, AMD might be linked to cardiovascular disease, and it’s more likely that someone fighting that disease will use aspirin.

But the lead researcher says, “No.”

He told The Telegraph that he and his colleagues specifically analyzed the influence of cardiovascular disease, and they believe it has no sway on the results.

That said, however, he went on to note that, in his opinion, the heart health benefits of aspirin therapy outweigh the AMD risks.

He told the press, “A healthy eye with full visual capacities is of no use in a dead body.”

But how about an eye, blind from disease, in a living body that also suffers from dangerous internal bleeding?

In a 2005 New England Journal of Medicine study, about 20,000 middle-aged women took 100 mg of aspirin daily for 10 years. Another group of nearly the same size took a placebo.

Results showed that aspirin provided no protection from heart attack, but did slightly reduce risk of ischemic stroke.

Meanwhile, women in the aspirin group were found to have a 40 percent increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding severe enough to require transfusions!

In study after study, this is the reality: Daily aspirin use increases risk of bleeding and potentially fatal hemorrhage.

Now, to that add the wet AMD danger and the conclusion is easy. This “wonder drug” is simply NOT worth the risk.

Sources: 
“Regular aspirin users at higher risk of sight problems, research suggests” Martin Evans, The Telegraph, 10/3/11, telegraph.co.uk

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