Statin Use Increases Risk of Cataracts
Drugs Taken to Lower Cholesterol Linked to Cataracts
- According to a study taken by Dr. Ishak Mansi of UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Dallas VA Medical Center, users of cholesterol lowering drugs, called statins, were more 27 percent more likely than non-users to develop cataracts.
- Statins, such as Zocor and Lipitor, are known to block substances within the body which prevent the creation of cholesterol. In the U.S., 25 percent of adults over the age of 45 take statins, typically for diabetes or cardiovascular problems.
- In the journal JAMA Ophthamology, Dr. Mansi writes that high cholesterol is needed in order for lenses of the eyes to remain clear, however statins may interfere with cholesterol building cells that allow clarity.
Length of Use of Statins Increases Risk of Cataracts
- The analysis examined patients between the ages of 30 and 85 enrolled in a San Antonio, Texas healtcare system who had recieved treatment between 2003 and 2005.
- This included 7,000 people on statins for 90 days or more to another sample of 7,000 people not taking statins.
- Over 40 characteristics of patients such as other health conditions, medications, and healthcare use were similar, however after adjusting for age, sex, weight, medications, alcohol and drug use, and other vision problems, 36 percent of the sample that took statin was found to have cataracts, compared to 34 percent of the non-statin taking sample.
- A second analysis was conducted on patients with no other known medical conditions, 6,113 statin users and 27,400 non-statin users. This study found that those using statin were diagnosed with cataracts 34 percent of the time as compared to 10 percent in those who did not use statins.
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