Statins Protect Against Vision Loss

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Ophthalmology (April2004) have found that statins may protect older individuals from blindness. Theleading cause of vision loss among the elderly is age-related macular degeneration.Some indicators of heart disease—such as artery damage and plaquebuildup of atherosclerosis—have been associated with macular degeneration.

Studies have shown that statins work well in reversing heart disease andreducing death rates, said researcher Hilary L. Wilson, MD. Because age-relatedmacular degeneration appears to be connected with blood vessel changes,statins may affect the onset of blindness. For this study, the investigators examinedthe medical records of 326 patients with age-related macular degeneration.The results showed that the patients taking statins were 49% less likely to developthe more severe wet form of macular degeneration. It is caused by the growthof new blood vessels underneath the retina that disrupt vision.