Washington: Statins are among the most commonly prescribed medications for cataracts, which is the leading cause of visual impairment worldwide affecting more than 20 million people, according to research.
In the USA they are prescribed to 1 in 3 people over 45 years of age at a cost of 35 billion dollars annually.
"There is persistent concern among physicians and other health care providers about the possible cataractogenicity of statins.1 We therefore investigated the relationship of statins and cataracts in a meta-analysis of 14 studies selected after detailed review of the medical literature. To our knowledge this is the first meta-analysis on the topic," Professor Kostis said.
The meta-analysis included 2,399,200 persons and 25,618 cataracts. The average duration of treatment was 54 months and average age was 61.
Using random effects meta-analysis, a statistically significant decrease in cataracts with statins was observed.
"This corresponds to an approximately 20 percent lower rate of cataracts with statin use compared to no statin use," professor Kostis said.
Meta-regression showed that younger people were more likely to benefit.