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Long-term aspirin use linked to age-related macular degeneration

12 Mar, 13 | by kuppell

Regular aspirin use is associated with an increased risk for developing neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Researchers analysed data from an Australian population-based cohort. Four examinations were carried out over a 15-year period with participants completing a detailed questionnaire at baseline assessing aspirin use, cardiovascular disease status, and AMD risk factors. Retinal photographs were taken at each study visit to assess the incidence of neovascular (wet) AMD and geographic atrophy (dry AMD) according to the international AMD classification.

Of 2389 participants at baseline, 257 (10.8%) were regular aspirin users and 63 of the 2389 developed neovascular AMD. ‘Persons who were regular aspirin users were more likely to have incident neovascular AMD: the 15-year cumulative incidence was 9.3% in users and 3.7% in nonusers’, report the researchers. They add that the association was independent of potential confounders such as cardiovascular disease, age, sex, smoking, systolic blood pressure, and body mass index. A link was not, however, found between aspirin use and geographic atrophy. The researchers conclude that: ‘Regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of incident neovascular AMD, independent of a history of cardiovascular disease and smoking’. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(4):258-264.

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