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Off topic: Baby-sized aspirin doubles chance of getting wet macular degeneration

Just yesterday I happened to again mention to my wife that taking baby aspirin does not really help much (decreases chance of a heart attack by about 10%) but should not hurt either, I was wrong!!.

New York Times Dec 19, 2012 commented on an article in JAMA.

Taking baby aspirin on a regular basis (at least twice a week) was found to raise neovascular macular degeneration from 1 in 200 to 1 in 100. DOUBLE!!


Results The median duration of follow-up was 14.8 years. There were 512 incident cases of early AMD (of 6243 person-visits at risk) and 117 incident cases of late AMD (of 8621 person-visits at risk) over the course of the study. Regular aspirin use 10 years prior to retinal examination was associated with late AMD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.63 [95% CI, 1.01-2.63]; P = .05), with estimated incidence of 1.76% (95% CI, 1.17%-2.64%) in regular users and 1.03% (95% CI, 0.70%-1.51%) in nonusers. For subtypes of late AMD, regular aspirin use 10 years prior to retinal examination was significantly associated with neovascular AMD (HR, 2.20 [95% CI, 1.20-4.15]; P = .01) but not pure geographic atrophy (HR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.25-1.95]; P = .45). Aspirin use 5 years (HR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.71-1.05]; P = .13) or 10 years (HR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.65-1.13]; P = .28) prior to retinal examination was not associated with incident early AMD.

Conclusions Among an adult cohort, aspirin use 5 years prior to observed incidence was not associated with incident early or late AMD.
However, regular aspirin use 10 years prior was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of incident late and neovascular AMD.

Comment by VitaminDWiki

How can they call a 2.2X increased probability small?
neovascular macular degeneration = wet AMD
Thus: baby aspirin: Provides a 220% increase in AMD in order to get a 6% decrease in blood clots
Note: my father-in-law:

  • used to smoke (4x increase probability - see NYT below) and
  • takes baby-sized aspirin daily (2x increase probability)    got wet macular degeneration 8 years ago
    I have suggested that he stop taking baby aspirin, as it might stop any clotting needed in the macula to stop the bleeding

See also VitaminDWiki

19,000 people in a 5 year RCT with 100 mg Aspirin vs placebo (worse cancers) - Aug 2020

Effect of aspirin on cancer incidence and mortality in older adultsFREE PDF

  • Analysis of the records revealed that the rate of new cancer onset was similar between the aspirin and placebo groups, but participants in the aspirin group were more likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage and metastatic cancers.
  • Death rates from solid tumor cancers, but not blood or lymphatic cancers, were higher in the aspirin group.