Abstract Title:

Statins and risk of cataracts: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Abstract Source:

Cardiovasc Ther. 2018 Dec ;36(6):e12480. Epub 2019 Jan 25. PMID: 30597753

Abstract Author(s):

Carlos Alves, Diogo Mendes, Francisco Batel Marques

Article Affiliation:

Carlos Alves


INTRODUCTION: Two previous meta-analyses evaluated the risk of cataracts associated with statins, but did not include relevant studies suggesting a cataractogenic effect.

AIMS: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies is to evaluate such association considering the latest published evidence.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted to identify observational, comparative studies evaluating the risk of developing cataracts in patients treated with statins. A meta-analysis was performed to estimate odds ratios (ORs). Results were stratified according to the following studies' subgroups: design, methodological quality, method of diagnosis of cataract, patients' age, and median follow-up. Meta-regressions evaluated the influence of the following risk factors: smoking, hypertension, corticosteroids, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease.

RESULTS: Twenty-one studies were included. Treatment with statins was associated with an increased risk of cataracts [OR: 1.11 (95% CI: 1.02-1.21); P = 0.017; I = 97.5%]. This risk remained statistically significant among case-controls, good methodological quality studies, studies with length of follow-up ≥5 years and those which outcome was cataract surgery. Between-studies heterogeneity was high among all risk estimates. Meta-regressions identifiedan inverse relationship between the risk of cataracts and the proportion of diabetic patients in the studies.

CONCLUSIONS: The results point out an increased risk of cataract development with statins. However, since the magnitude of the effect is low and between-studies heterogeneity is high, the extent in which these results have impact on the benefit/risk ratio of statins is difficult to ascertain due to the uncertainty of the findings.

Study Type : Meta Analysis, Review

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