Cataract and the use of statins: A case-control study

Liam Smeeth, R. Hubbard, A. E. Fletcher

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: In animal studies, statins have induced cataract formation. Because incident cataract is relatively uncommon, studies in humans have been unable to exclude a clinically important effect. Aims: To assess the risk of cataract associated with the use of statins, and whether it is increased by concurrent use of drugs that inhibit the cytochrome P450 system. Design: Population-based case-control study. Methods: Patients were randomly sampled from the UK General Practice Research Database. The study included 15 479 people with cataract and 15 479 controls matched for age, sex, practice and observation period. Results: The crude odds ratio (OR) for the association between any recorded exposure to statins and cataract was 1.41 (95% CI 1.21-1.65), but this reduced to 1.04 (95% CI 0.89-1.23, p = 0.6) after adjustment for consultation rate. There was no evidence that the risk increased with higher doses or longer duration of statin use, or that the risk varied by individual statin. There was no evidence that the risk of cataract was increased by concurrent use of statins and drugs that inhibit the cytochrome P450 system. Discussion: In the short- and medium-term, statins do not seem to be associated with an increased risk of cataract. The need to assess the effects of long-term statin exposure on the eye remains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-343
Number of pages7
JournalQJM - Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians
Volume96
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Cataract and the use of statins: A case-control study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this