Findings from a meta-analysis of 14 studies involving over 2 million people have suggested that treatment with statins signicantly lowers the risk of cataracts. The analysis, which included 25,618 cases of cataract, found a statistically signicant decrease in cataracts with statins corresponding to approximately 20% reduction in the rate of cataracts with statin use compared to no statin use.

The average duration of treatment was 54 months and average age was 61 years. Meta-regression showed that younger people were more likely to benet, with people in their 40s treated with statins having a 50% lower chance of getting cataracts compared with those untreated. The analysis also showed an increase in benet of statins with longer duration of treatment. There was no difference between studies by gender.

Presenting the data at September’s annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), study lead Professor John Kostis said: “Our findings dispel worries about the safety of statins when it comes to cataracts and lend additional support to long term statin use.”

Meanwhile, a large study, also presented at the ESC congress, has conrmed previous suggestions that statins have a protective effect on the onset of dementia.

The Taiwan-based researchers studied 57,669 patients aged >65 years who had no history of dementia. In the 4.5 year follow-up period there were 5,516 new diagnoses of dementia.

The remaining 52,153 patients aged >65 formed the control group. The analysis included pre-senile and senile dementia but excluded vascular dementia. Results showed that patients who received the highest total equivalent doses of statins had a 3-fold decrease in the risk of developing dementia. Similar results were found with the daily equivalent statin dosage. The protective effect of statins was consistent in different age, gender and cardiovascular risk subgroups.

High potency statins, such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin, showed a signicant inverse association with developing dementia in a dose-response manner. Higher doses of high potency statins gave the strongest protective effects against dementia.”