Aspirin Therapy Associated With Increased Risk of Macular Degeneration
Madison, Wisconsin - People who regularly took aspirin 10 years prior to examination had a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of a subtype of age-related macular degeneration (
Dr. Barbara Klein and her collaborators studied nearly 5,000 people who took part in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s Beaver Dam Eye Study. Results are being published in the December 19 Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Aspirin use in the United States is widespread, with an estimated 19.3 percent of adults reporting regular consumption, and reported use increases with age,” according to background information in the study.
Klein, a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, looked at data from eye exams performed on Beaver Dam participants every five years over a 20-year period (1988-1990 through 2008-2010). Participants were asked if they had regularly used aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months at each eye examination.
For the study, the researchers measured the incidence of different types of age-related macular degeneration (early, late, and two subtypes of late
There were 512 cases of early age-related macular degeneration
“Our findings are consistent with a small but statistically significant association between regular aspirin use and incidence of neovascular AMD,” the authors wrote. They said that if further studies confirm the link, it will be important to develop ways to block or slow the effect, especially for people who use aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Klein’s co-authors include Dr. Ronald Klein, Dr. Ronald Gangnon, Kerri Howard, Jennifer Dreyer and Kristine Lee.
The Beaver Dam Eye Study is funded by the National Eye Institute and National Institutes of Health grant EY06594; and Research to Prevent Blindness.
Date Published: 12/18/2012