Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Statins Linked to Cataracts in Large, Retrospective Study

Statins Linked to Cataracts in Large, Retrospective Study

 Sep 20, 2013
SAN ANTONIO TX — Another large study is linking statin use to the development of cataracts[1]. The latest, following on a Canadian analysis last year, is a propensity score-matched analysis of over 45 000 subjects in a military healthcare system, published this week in JAMA Ophthalmology .
As Dr Jessica Leuschen (Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgery Center, San Antonio, TX) and colleagues point out, observational studies of statins have been conflicting, with some suggesting an increased risk of cataracts with statin use while others appear to show a beneficial effect of statins on cataract risk. At the recent European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2013 Congress , Dr John B Kostis (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ) presented the results of a random-effects meta-analysis, showing a 20% lower rate of cataracts with statin use compared with no statin use, with a more pronounced benefit seen when statins were started in younger patients.

The meta-analysis published today, however, found the opposite. It matched 6972 statin users with nonusers within the San Antonio Military Multi-Market Area health system using propensity scores based on variables that increased the likelihood of receiving statins and increased the risk of developing cataracts. Statin users had to have been on the drugs for more than 90 days; simvastatin was prescribed in almost three-quarters of the patients.

They found that statin users in the propensity-matched analysis had a 9% increase in cataracts. In secondary analyses that looked at all patients with no comorbidities (based on the Charlson index) at baseline, the risk of developing cataracts was 29% higher in the statin users. Results were consistent regardless of whether patients had been taking statins for two, four, or six years, authors note.
Read the complete article here.

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