02 Dec Statin Use Linked to Cataract Risk
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
B. John Mancini, MD, FRCPC, FACP, FACC
Professor of Medicine; University of British Columbia;
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology;
Research Director, Division of Cardiology;
Director, Cardiovascular Imaging Research Core Laboratory (CIRCL);
President, Vancouver Hospital Medical, Dental and Allied Staff;
Staff Cardiologist, VH Cardiology Clinics and Cardiac Computed Tomographic Angiography Program; Staff Cardiologist, St. Paul’s Hospital Healthy Heart/Prevention Clinic.
MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study?
Dr. Mancini: The main findings are that we found evidence of a relationship between statin use and the need for cataract surgery. The unique nature of the study is that it looked for the association in two distinctly different populations (a Canadian database and a separate, American database) and found a consistent association in both populations.
MedicalResearch: What should patients and providers take away from this report?
Dr. Mancini: The main implication is that this is another analysis that supports an association between statins and cataract formation which has been, and remains, a murky area since these types of observational studies can have residual confounding. Careful observations in randomized clinical trials are needed to support or refute this proposed association. From a clinical and therapeutic perspective, the implications are minimal because the benefits of statins with respect to cardiovascular risk reduction are far outweighed by any small, augmented risk of requiring cataract surgery which is generally quite benign. It does mean, however, that the indication for statin use should be solid from the outset and fully understood by patients. The take home message is that this is a unique and extensive analysis that supports other studies suggesting that there is an association between statin use and cataract surgery but that aside from awareness, there should be no implications for use of statins when indicated for the therapy of dyslipidemia and for the reduction of cardiovascular risk.
Stephanie J. Wise, Nawaaz A. Nathoo, Mahyar Etminan, Frederick S. Mikelberg, G.B. John Mancini. Statin Use and Risk for Cataract: A Nested Case-Control Study of 2 Populations in Canada and the United States. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 2014; 30 (12): 1613 DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.08.020