The cataract study was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, and reported on by WebMD (12/5/14). Researchers found that use of statins could increase the risk of developing cataracts by up to 27 percent, although they also noted that they could not prove that stains caused the cataracts.
Furthermore, researchers wrote that the risk of cataracts did not outweigh the benefits of statins, which are taken to help patients lower their cholesterol levels.
The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, and included in a press release from the journal, examined data from the British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Health databases from 2000-2007 and the IMS LifeLink U.S. database from 2001-2011. The BC group showed a 27 percent increased risk of developing cataracts, whereas the IMS group showed a 7 percent increased risk. Both increased risks are considered statistically significant.
Researchers did not examine whether certain statins were more closely associated with cataracts. They recommended that further study into the possible link between cataracts and statins should be conducted.
Meanwhile, an editorial that accompanied the article noted that although the increased risk of cataracts might be statistically significant, that should not necessarily be reason to discontinue use of statins, especially not for patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
READ MORE CRESTOR LEGAL NEWS
However, studies published earlier this year suggest statins might also be linked to an increased risk of diabetes. One study, also conducted in Canada, but published in BMJ, suggests that higher potency statins are linked to an increased risk of new onset diabetes than lower potency statins.
For now, the debate about the use of statins continues, with some critics maintaining that statins are overused, possibly putting patients at increased risk of suffering adverse events.