Statins ‘fight cataracts too’

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - Statins, a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels, have been found to cut the risks of cataracts in both men and women, say researchers.

“Doctors have known for some time that there is some sort of preventative effect that statins have against cataracts,” says Dr. Gabriel Chodick of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, who led the study. “It seems that they protect the eye from inflammation and ocular nerve cells from a process of oxidization. But ours is the first study to show such a strong association in such a large population.”

The study, which involved over 180,000 patients between the years of 1998 and 2007, was published in the February 2010 issue of the Annals of Epidemiology.

In the study, Dr. Chodick and his colleague Dr. Varda Shalev found that men aged 45 to 54 who took the statins daily to lower their cholesterol levels also lowered their chances of developing cataracts by 38 percent For women of about the same age, the risk for cataracts was also cut dramatically, by about 18percent.

A cataract is a type of clouding that develops in the lens of the eye, leading to varying degrees of sight impairment. It typically progresses slowly so that the sufferer may not even be aware of the problem. If left untreated, a cataract can lead to blindness. (ANI)

Filed under: Cataract

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