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Analysis of recent studies shows statins prevent cataracts

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Statins, which are commonly prescribed to treat high cholesterol, may reduce the risk of developing cataracts. A recent review of 13 studies, which included 2.4 million people and 25,658 cataract cases concluded that statin use actually decreases the incidence of cataracts. Dr. John B. Kostis and other colleagues at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey conducted the meta-analysis and found an almost 20% decrease in the rate of cataracts among people who were treated with statins compared with those who had not been treated. In addition, the team discovered that for patients who began treatment in their 40s, there was a 51% lower chance of cataracts compared to those who began treatment in their 70s leading researchers to hypothesize that aging and statins work in parallel. Patients who were treated with statins for as long as 14 years had a 46% reduction in their risk compared with a 10% risk reduction in those who were just treated for 6 months. The meta-analysis did have limitations and a large, randomized clinical trial would help allay any further concerns regarding the use of statins and the development of cataracts. In addition, statin use is not without potential side effects which patients should review with their doctor.*

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