Eye News: Aspirin Use Associated with Age-related Macular Degeneration
More Frequent Aspirin Use Associated With More Severe Age-related Macular Degeneration
(Daniel M. Keller, PhD, Ophthalmology. 2012;119:112-118, January 2012)
The risks for early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and wet late AMD are associated with frequent aspirin use, and the risk increases with greater aspirin consumption, European researchers reported in an article published in the January 2012 issue of Ophthalmology.
The results, from the large, population-based, cross-sectional European Eye Study, suggest caution in recommending aspirin to patients with early or late AMD who may take it for other conditions, such as prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
When adjusted for all potential confounders of age, sex, education, smoking, body mass index, diabetes, CVD, angina, cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure, daily aspirin users had a greater than 2-fold increased risk for wet AMD when compared with participants who never consumed aspirin.
4691 participants aged 65 years or older who were chosen by taking a random sampling from population registers in 7 countries. Daily aspirin users were found to be older, were less likely to smoke, and had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but more CVD and angina.
Among all participants, 36.4% had early AMD, and 3.3% had late AMD, of whom about two thirds had wet and one third dry AMD. More frequent aspirin use was associated with higher grades of AMD. One third of the individuals with wet AMD consumed aspirin daily compared with only 16% of control participants.