NMA: Nonprescription Medicines Academy

More Evidence Links Aspirin Use to Increased Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

April 17th, 2013

Another large study—this one in an Australian population-based cohort—has found an association between regular aspirin use and an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study included data for 2,389 participants in the Blue Mountains Eye Study who had four examinations during a 15-year period (1992-1994 to 2007-2009). Participants completed a detailed questionnaire at baseline assessing aspirin use, cardiovascular disease status, and AMD risk factors. Side-by-side retinal photographs taken at each study visit were used to assess the incidence of neovascular (wet) AMD and geographic atrophy (dry AMD) according to the international AMD classification.

Of the 2,389 participants, 257 (10.8%) were regular aspirin users and 63 (2.6%) 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. After adjustment for age, sex, smoking, history of cardiovascular disease, systolic blood pressure, and body mass index, persons who were regular aspirin users had a higher risk of developing neovascular AMD (odds ratio, 2.46; 95% CI, 1.25–4.83). The association showed a dose–response effect (multivariate-adjusted P = 0.01 for trend).

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(4):258-64.