Melbourne, January 23 2013 – Professor John McNeil, Head of Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and Lead Investigator of the ASPREE trial (pictured left) responds to the recent JAMA article study linking regular Aspirin Use and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD):
“The relationship between aspirin and AMD is complex and is poorly understood. Only large randomised clinical trials will provide robust, valid evidence as to aspirin’s potential benefits and risks, including AMD.
“This study did not clearly identify the dose of aspirin, the duration of use and the age of participants that developed the disease, therefore I am extremely cautious around the robustness of the findings.
“Although the sample size was 2,389 baseline participants this 15 year, non-randomised study was based on only 257 regular aspirin users aged 49 and over, which is a relatively small number of participants,” said Professor McNeil.
“It is also possible that other factors not measured in the study could be associated with AMD but not detected. Previous studies on the effect of aspirin on AMD have been inconsistent,” he said.
A commentary by authors Dr Sanjay Kaul and Dr George A Diamond, that was published in JAMA at the same time, cautioned that the ‘strength of evidence (in their study) is not sufficiently robust to change clinical practice.’
Aspirin is one of the most commonly used and well-studied medications in the world. Its preventive health qualities are currently being researched as part of the ASPREE study (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly), the largest primary prevention aspirin study ever undertaken in healthy people aged 70 plus.
For more information please contact ASPREE on 1800 728 745
For more information about ASPREE visit www.aspree.org