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Statins may prevent more than heart disease, according to findings published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (September 2003). Older people taking statins also appear less likely to develop macular degeneration, also known as age-related maculopathy (ARM).
The researchers studied 550 patients newly diagnosed with ARM and compared them with a control group of 5500 individuals without the condition. All the participants were at least 50 years old. Results of the study showed that patients with ARM were 50% less likely to have received and filled a prescription for statins, compared with the control group. This finding was true whether the person was currently taking statins or had taken them in the past. The researchers pointed out that the findings are still preliminary, and more research is required to understand what causes this condition and the role, if any, that cholesterol plays.