Sight-Saving Statins?

Aug. 18, 2003 — Might statins save your locate? Unused evidence proposes that the cholesterol-lowering drugs prevent macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration is a major reason elderly individuals lose much of their sight. It’s caused by a breakdown of light-sensitive cells right within the center of the retina. It’s like a huge gap in the center of a movie screen.

A few analysts suspect that macular degeneration happens for the same reason as heart disease: cholesterol. It’s possible that cholesterol buildup within the eye makes a difference partitioned light-sensitive cells from their feeding back cells.

Gerald McGwin Jr., MD, of the College of Alabama in Birmingham, and colleagues decided to test this hypothesis. They compared 550 individuals with age-related macular degeneration with 5,500 comparative patients without macular degeneration.

People who got macular degeneration were 70% less likely to have taken statins. Other cholesterol-lowering drugs didn’t appear to affect the condition. The findings appear within the September issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

This ponder doesn’t demonstrate that statins anticipate macular degeneration. But it’s a solid imply that analysts ought to take a difficult look in this direction.

„The comes about of this think about propose that subjects with age-related macular degeneration were significantly less likely to have filled a statin medicine,” McGwin and colleagues write. „Future clinical research initiatives should consider a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of statins in bringing down the risk and/or rate of progression of age-related macular degeneration.”

SOURCE: British Journal of Ophthalmology, September 2003.

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