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Statins Could Raise Your Risk Of Blindness, Research Suggests




Drugs that are intended to control your cholesterol could have some very serious unintended consequences new research suggests. According to a report published in JAMA Opthamology, statin drugs raise the risk of developing cataracts.

Jessica Leuschen of Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgery Center, San Antonio, Texas and colleagues analyzed patients of a military health care system in order to compare the risks for development by comparing statin users to nonstatin users.

Patients were divided into two groups based on medications that were filled during the 2005 fiscal year.

The first group included patients who received a 90 day supply of statins (13,326 patients), the second group included patients who never used statin medication during the study (32,623 patients).

Leuschen and her colleagues then matched 6972 pairs of statin users and nonusers for an analysis that revealed something very disturbing: people who took statins were 27 percent more likely to develop cataracts than people who did not take them.

Indeed it appears that an unintended consequence of taking statins is that it raises the risk for the patient to become blind.

In light of that result, what does this mean for people who rely on statins to control their cholesterol?

While statins lower bad cholesterol and thus is an important to heart disease prevention, cataracts are among the leading causes of blindness, affecting an estimated 20.5 million  Americans, but on the other hand statins are prescribed to prevent and treat heart disease.

 In terms of whether these medications are worth the risk, Leuschen and her colleages wrote that the benefits and costs of statin use - and particularly in terms of primary prevention - should be carefully weighed.


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Article Sources

Leuschen J, Mortensen EM, Frei CR, Mansi EA, Panday V, & Mansi I (2013). Association of Statin Use With Cataracts: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis. JAMA ophthalmology PMID: 24052188

CDC - About Vision Health - Common Eye Disorders


"Statins Could Raise Your Risk Of Blindness, Research Suggests" copyright © 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



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