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October 1991

Aspirin and Cataract-Reply

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(10):1344-1345. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080100024011

In Reply.  —The Physicians' Health Study, which had previously found that aspirin reduced the risk of a first heart attack by 44%,1 provided a valid and efficient mechanism for studying the association between aspirin and cataract in a sample of 22 071 men. For example, in this randomized trial, the baseline distributions of confounding variables, whether known or unknown, would be expected to be equal and, indeed, all measured risk factors were virtually identical in the aspirin and placebo groups. Based on the number of cataract end points, our data could not exclude a possible small to moderate benefit of alternate-day aspirin therapy for extraction of age-related cataract. However, our findings were inconsistent with the 50% reduction reported by Harding.2,3 If real, an effect of this magnitude would have been easily detected in our trial, even with the reduced number of end points that resulted from the early

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