Sydney: Aspirin, a
drug for prevention of cardiovascular disease, is likely to raise
the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading
cause of blindness in older people, says an Australian study.
Aspirin is one of the world's most popular drugs for prevention of
cardiovascular disease like myocardial infarction (heart attack)
and ischemic stroke (poor blood supply to heart).
While a recent study suggested that regular aspirin use was linked
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, according to
the study authors, the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, reports.
Gerald Liew, from the University of Sydney and colleagues examined
whether regular aspirin use (once or more per week) was tied to a
higher risk of AMD by conducting a prospective analysis of data
from a study that included four examinations during a 15-year
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 a Sydney
"The cumulative incidence of neovascular AMD among non-regular
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