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Study Finds Statin Use Linked to Development of Cataracts

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Statin Use Linked to Cataracts

If you’re like one of the millions of other Americans currently taking statins for heart disease, you might be interested to know of a recent study that found a link between statins and the development of cataracts.   The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, says that the risk of developing cataracts is increased by a whopping 27% for those who take statins compared to those who don’t.

Cholesterol Necessary for Healthy Eyes

Researchers looked at the medical notes for 14,000 people  for eight years, with half of those people having taken statins for a period of at least 3 months and the other half having never taken statins.  The researchers found that the risk of developing cataracts was estimated at 27% for those who had taken statins even after controlling for other possible factors such as high blood pressure, which can also lead to the development of cataracts.  They concluded that cholesterol is necessary for healthy eye cells and the transparency of the lens.

Doctors Emphasize the Importance of Statins 

Despite the increased risk of developing cataracts, heart doctors urge their patients to consider the fact that statins are life-changing and possibly life-saving.  The risk of developing cataracts is a small price to pay considering that statins can cut the risk of heart attack or stroke by 10-15%.  Furthermore, since 20% of Americans are estimated to develop heart disease within their lifetime, it is important to recognize how vital statins are in maintaining the quality of life for many.