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New Study Reveals Aspirin Use Linked to Increased Macular Degeneration Risks

Filed January 22nd, 2013 admin

Aspirin use has been linked to an elevated risk for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, a new Australian study found.

After adjustment for age, sex, and history of smoking, the odds ratio for macular degeneration in aspirin users was 2.37, according to Jie Jin Wang, PhD, of the University of Sydney, and colleagues, Medpage Today said. The ratio remained the same after researchers made adjustments for body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and history of cardiovascular disease.

Wang and colleagues reviewed data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, which featured 2,389 Australians ages 49 and older, Medpage Today said. A total of 257 participants were regular aspirin users. Aspirin users were older and more often had conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or elevated blood pressure, when compared to non-users, Medpage Today said. In the 15 years of follow-up, age-related wet macular degeneration was identified in 63 individuals. Among regular users, the cumulative incidence was 1.9%, 7%, and 9.3% at years 5, 10, and 15, while the incidence among nonusers was 0.8%, 1.6%, and 3.7%, respectively, Medpage Today said. The occurrence of neovascular macular degeneration increased with more frequent aspirin use, rising from 2.2% in those who never took aspirin, to 2.9% for those who used it only occasionally. That number vaulted to 5.8% for those who took aspirin routinely.

Wang and his colleagues also examined whether other medications often taken by aspirin users, including acetaminophen and beta-blockers, might influence risk, and the results were negative, Medpage Today said.

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