In the journals: Could cholesterol-lowering drugs cause cataracts?

Image: Thinkstock

Published: January, 2014

People who take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug are slightly more likely to develop cataracts, according to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology. A cataract is cloudiness in the natural lens of the eye that impairs vision.

Statins cut the risk of heart disease by lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol. Some past studies have linked statins to cataracts; others found no connection. To investigate further, the researchers matched about 7,000 people who were prescribed statins to an equal number of people who did not take statins. Over six years, statin users had a slightly higher chance of being diagnosed with cataracts: (35.5%) compared with non-users (33.5%).

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »