Regular aspirin use ten or more years ago associated with increased risk of type of age-related macular degeneration

Among nearly 5,000 study participants, regular aspirin use reported ten years prior was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of neovascular age‑related macular degeneration, according to a study in the December 19 issue of JAMA.

" 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. "The results of cross-sectional studies of aspirin use and its relation to age-related () have been inconsistent. AMD is a potentially blinding condition for which prevalence and incidence are increasing with the increased survival of the population, and regular use of aspirin is common and becoming more widespread in persons in the age range at highest risk for this disease. Therefore, it is imperative to further examine this potential association."

Barbara E. K. Klein, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and , Madison, and colleagues conducted a study to examine the association between aspirin use and AMD. The researchers used data from the Beaver Dam Eye Study, a longitudinal population-based study of age-related eye diseases conducted in Wisconsin. Examinations were performed every 5 years over a 20-year period (1988-1990 through 2008-2010). (n = 4,926) were 43 to 86 years of age at entry in the study. At subsequent examinations, participants were asked if they had regularly used aspirin at least twice a week for more than 3 months. The average duration of follow-up was 14.8 years.

For the study, the researchers measured the incidences of different types of AMD (early, late, and 2 subtypes of late AMD [neovascular AMD and pure geographic atrophy]).

There were 512 incident cases of early AMD and 117 incident cases of late AMD over the course of the study. The researchers found that regular use of aspirin use 10 years prior to the retinal examination was associated with late AMD (age- and sex-adjusted incidence, 1.8 percent for users vs. 1.0 percent for nonusers). When examining the relationships by late AMD subtype, neovascular AMD was significantly associated with such use (age-and sex-adjusted incidence, 1.4 percent for users vs. 0.6 percent for nonusers), but not for pure geographic . Aspirin use 5 years or 10 years prior to retinal examination was not associated with incident early AMD.

"Our findings are consistent with a small but statistically significant association between regular aspirin use and incidence of neovascular AMD. Additional replication is required to confirm our observations. If confirmed, defining the causal mechanisms may be important in developing methods to block this effect to prevent or retard the development of neovascular AMD in persons who use aspirin, especially to prevent CVD," the authors conclude.

More information: JAMA. 2012;308(23):2469-2478

Related Stories

Genotyping IDs long-term risk of macular degeneration

Nov 13, 2012

(HealthDay)—Genotyping of two genetic risk alleles can be used to estimate the long-term risk of early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but knowing the phenotype is important in assessing ...

Recommended for you

FDA approves hard-to-abuse narcotic painkiller

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new formulation of a powerful narcotic painkiller that discourages potential abusers from snorting or injecting the drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Race affects opioid selection for cancer pain

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Racial disparities exist in the type of opioid prescribed for cancer pain, according to a study published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

FDA approves tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe ...

Tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone approved

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe pain when other ...

EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—A commonly used morning-after pill is suitable for use by heavier women, the European Medicines Agency said Thursday after a review of the evidence sparked by the French manufacturer's declaration that the drugs didn't ...

Physicians warned about counterfeit medical devices

Jul 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—Physicians should be aware of the prevalence and serious consequences associated with use of counterfeit medical devices, according to a letter to the editor published online July 20 in Lasers in ...

User comments