Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MORE PROBLEMS WITH STATINS. NOW STATIN INDUCED CATARACT.

This statin, good for the heart seems to be bad for quite a few things.
Besides muscle aches and pains, myopathy, myolysis, liver dysfunction, statin induced diabetes, and now cataracts. This is if you care to read the EBM blogs and sites. If you care to read the anti-statin blogs, there are more dangers.
In the August issue of the Journal of Optometry and Visual Science, Dr Carolyn Machan and colleagues from the University of Waterloo, carried out a Waterloo Eye Study. They looked into 6,397 patients  who were on statins. Some were diabetics ( the majority ) and others were not. They examined their eyes to see how many had cataracts. They discovered that Statin use was an independent predictor of cataracts. Those who used statins had a 50% higher incidence of cataract, when compared to another of the same age. If you are diabetics, using statins, your risk goes up to 83%, meaning that if you have diabetes and using statins, you are very likely to get cataracts.
It is true that cataracts does not kill ( at least not directly ), and you are trying to prevent a cardiovascular event. But I am upset that if you were non diabetic and your doctor put you on statins as primary prevention because you have a 50% increase risk, and you get cataract, then the doctor would have given a healthy guy ( except for a biochemical raised cholesterol ) and disease which may require surgical treatment. I was taught that therapy must never be worse than the disease itself.
Apparently, there is a sound theoretical basis for what Dr Machan and group had discovered. The crystalline lens membrane requires high cholesterol for proper epithelial cell development and lens transparency. They have also noted this in animal devoid of cholesterol and they also noted that patients with hereditary hypo-cholesterolemia have a high incidence of cataracts.
So we now have a good explanation for what was discovered.
I have never been one to advocate the free use of statins in primary prevention, especially in those with a low CV risk profile. I see that some of my colleagues do. I wonder how many cataracts have been induced and how many patients ( especially ) have been harmed.
We are taught, first do no harm.

2 comments:

toby magmire said...

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tisanjosh said...

The lens performs much like a camera lens, concentrating light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The lens also adapts the eye's concentrate, allowing us see things clearly both up close and far away. Cataract Surgery