Published on January 21, 2013.
Press release from the Journal of the American Medical Association:
CHICAGO – Regular aspirin use appears to be associated with an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of blindness in older people, and it appears to be independent of a history of cardiovascular disease and smoking, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.
Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications in the world and is commonly used in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) and ischemic stroke. While a recent study suggested that regular aspirin use was associated with AMD, particularly the more visually devastating neovascular (wet) form, other studies have reported inconsistent findings. Smoking is also a preventable risk factor for AMD, the authors write in the study background.
Gerald Liew, Ph.D., of the University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues examined whether regular aspirin use (defined as once or more per week in the past year) was associated with a higher risk of developing AMD by conducting a prospective analysis of data from an Australian study that included four examinations during a 15-year period. Of 2,389 participants, 257 individuals (10.8 percent) were regular aspirin users.
After the 15-year follow-up, 63 individuals (24.5 percent) developed incident neovascular AMD, according to the results.
“The cumulative incidence of neovascular AMD among nonregular aspirin users was 0.8 percent at five years, 1.6 percent at 10 years, and 3.7 percent at 15 years; among regular aspirin users, the cumulative incidence was 1.9 percent at five years, 7 percent at 10 years and 9.3 percent at 15 years, respectively,” the authors note. “Regular aspirin use was significantly associated with an increased incidence of neovascular AMD.”
The authors note that any decision concerning whether to stop aspirin therapy is “complex and needs to be individualized.”
“Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend changing clinical practice, except perhaps in patients with strong risk factors for neovascular AMD (e.g., existing late AMD in the fellow eye) in whom it may be appropriate to raise the potentially small risk of incident neovascular AMD with long-term aspirin therapy,” the authors conclude.
(JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 21, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1583)
Macular degeneration is a medical condition that usually affects older adults; therefore, it is also called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It is a major cause of visual impairment in adults over the age of 50 – making it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision typically remains to allow other activities of daily life. In some cases, it leads to blindness.
Writing in the medical journal Ophthalmology, researchers made an association between aspirin use and early and late aging macular disorder (AMD).
In a study of 4,691 participants, “Early AMD was present in 36.4% of the participants and late AMD was present in 3.3% of participants. Monthly aspirin use was reported by 1931 (41.2%), at least once weekly by 7%, and daily use by 17.3%. For daily aspirin users, the ORs, adjusted for potential confounders, showed a steady increase with increasing severity of AMD grades.
Frequent aspirin use was associated with early AMD and wet late AMD, and the (odds ratio) rose with increasing frequency of consumption. This interesting observation warrants further evaluation of the associations between aspirin use and AMD.” (1)
1. de Jong PTVM, Chakravarthy U, Rahu M, Seland J, et al. Associations between Aspirin Use and Aging Macula Disorder: The European Eye Study. Ophthalmology Volume 119, Issue 1 , Pages 112-118, January 2012
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, our first step in the treatment of Macular Degeneration is to restore retinal ocular health to the patient. To do so, we utilize oral and intravenous administration of supplements that are high in antioxidants to help reverse the oxidative damage that a patient has experienced.
How do we do this? Read about Macular Degeneration at our website
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