June 2010

 

OPHTHALMOLOGY NEWS

 

Study links statins to cataract risk


   

According to a recent study, well-known drugs used for lowering cholesterol and preventing heart attacks, statins, have been linked to an increased risk of cataracts, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the five-year study looked at more than 2 million patients and found that for every 10,000 patients on statins, up to 307 more got cataracts than the non-statins patients, while up to 301 fewer patients suffered cardiovascular disease, the Australian paper reported.

A higher rate of kidney failure was found in the study, which also confirmed previously recorded increased prevalence of liver problems and muscle pain.

Terry Campbell, a specialist on cardiovascular drugs and professor at the University of NSW, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the cataract result was contradictory to the conclusions of more strongly based randomized trials. He added that it is possible the findings reflected the differences in the doctors’ approach to the patients prescribed statins compared to those who were not. ‘’To stop prescribing statins because of this would be crazy,’’ Professor Campbell told the paper.

Statins protects against a common potentially fatal disease, while the chance of cataracts can be corrected with surgery, the paper said.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/science/heart-attack-drug-linked-to-cataracts-20100521-w1r0.html

Reported by: EyeWorld News Services

Study links statins to cataract risk Study links statins to cataract risk
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