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Statin use and cataracts

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

A prospective open cohort study has examined and quantified the unintended risks and benefits of statins in a large representative primary care population over a six year period.

With respect to risk of cataracts associated with statin treatment the results revealed:

  • statin use was associated with an increased risk of cataract in both men and women, apart from fluvastatin in men, owing to small numbers in the analysis
  • no significant difference between the effects of individual statins in men (P=0.32) or in women (P=0.82)
  • no evidence of a dose-response relation
  • risk was significantly increased within a year of starting statins, persisted during treatment, and returned to normal within the first year after stopping treatment
  • number needed to harm (NNH) for cataract was 33 (28 to 38)


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