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Research Report: Aspirin Use in Advanced Uncontrolled Glaucoma.

Researchers from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston , Houston and the Double Dagger Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies and Department of Veterans Affairs, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston have been looking at the use of aspirin in people with advanced uncontrolled glaucoma.

It has been proposed for some time that the use of low dose aspirin may be of benefit to glaucoma patients by helping to improve the perfusion pressure through a similar mode of action as is well established in those with heart conditions. However, although this study's purpose was to evaluate if aspirin use affects progression of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), the methods used did not identify those patients who were using aspirin as a potential therapeutic agent for their glaucoma, but rather it carried our a retrospective review of patients with uncontrolled glaucoma with the incidence of aspirin use noted by a one time self reporting survey. The controls for this study were medically stable POAG patients.

The primary outcome measure was a comparison for the percentages of aspirin use among those who have and who have not undergone glaucoma filtration surgery (trabeculectomy).

The results showed that 41% (26/64) of the patients who had undergone trabeculectomy were using aspirin compared with 23% (17/74) of the controls, i.e., patients undergoing trabeculectomy were approximately twice as likely to be taking aspirin. However, subgroup analyses showed that increased use of aspirin was associated with trabeculectomy patients who were current or former smokers, suffered from systemic hypertension or who had joint disease.

The conclusion was therefore that there was a higher use of aspirin in patients with POAG who required surgical treatment when compared with the medically stable controls. However, that this finding may be secondary to a higher rate of glaucoma surgery in those patients with greater degrees of other systemic illness, more of whom use aspirin

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