Statins May Increase Risk Of Cataracts, Kidney Failure, Muscle Pain And Liver Dysfunction.

Bloomberg News (5/21, Cortez) reports that, according to a study published online May 20 in the British Medical Journal, statin “drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease…increase the risk of cataracts, kidney failure, muscle pain and liver dysfunction.” In “a study of more than two million Britons,” researchers found that “for every 10,000 people taking a statin, there were about 271 fewer cases of heart disease, eight fewer cases of esophageal cancer, 307 extra patients with cataracts, 23 additional patients with acute kidney failure, and 74 extra patients with liver dysfunction.”
HealthDay (5/20, Reinberg) reported, “On the more positive side, the study found no link between statin use and risks for a wide range of cancers (including stomach, colon, lung, renal, breast, or prostate malignancies), as well as no connection to Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, blood clots, dementia, or fractures.” Important to note is that “the risk for adverse effects lasted as long as the drugs were being taken, but were highest during the year when treatment was initiated, the researchers found.”
While statins all shared similar adverse effects, fluvastatin (Lescol) produced the highest risk for liver dysfunction, Reuters (5/21, Helland) reports. An accompanying commentary nevertheless emphasized how the benefits of statins (reducing the risk for heart disease) outweigh the risks of adverse effects when used properly. BBC News (5/21), the UK’s Press Association (5/21), and the UK’s Daily Mail (5/21, Hope) also cover the story.

Courtesy of the Doctors of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians serving Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg Maryland suburbs of Washington DC.  For more information visit

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