This surprising cause of blindness is in your medicine cabinet
February 16, 2013
Volume 3 | Issue 13
The media in the U.S. love the drug companies. That's largely because of all the ad revenue the drug companies buy. Because of this, you can't really trust the media in the U.S. to protect your health. This was particularly true when a recent study found that the most common drug in America causes blindness.
The coverage of the news in the U.S. was soft. Most of the news outlets had headlines like: "Does Aspirin Cause Macular Degeneration?" or "Aspirin May Increase Your Risk of Blindness." One even said "Aspirin Linked to Higher Risk of Blindness." Compare those to the headline in the Journal of the American Medical Association
: "Daily Aspirin nearly triples risk of blindness disease." And the media in Europe were even harsher: "Aspirin use causes blindness."
There's a big difference in saying a drug "may cause blindness" and saying it "causes blindness." There's also a big difference between "may increase your risk" and "nearly triples your risk." The U.S. media loves to smooth over the negative news on drugs and blow the negative news on supplements out of proportion. For journalists, who are not supposed to be biased, this clear bias is appalling — especially when your eyes are at risk.
The funding for this study didn't come from the U.S., so the stunning honesty of the JAMA headline didn't have the usual American drug company bias. According to the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia, daily aspirin users are 2.37 times more likely to develop wet macular degeneration than those who don't take aspirin.
Actually, the risk is worse than that. The 2.37 represents the average. Those who take daily aspirin for 10 years were 4.375 times as likely to develop blindness from macular degeneration. And nearly 10% of those taking aspirin every day for 15 years will develop blindness from the disease.
To make matters worse, wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of the disease. It's not as common as dry macular degeneration. So the fact that aspirin increases your risk this much really speaks volumes about the dangers of the drug.
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Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 21, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2530.