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Statin Use and the Risk of Cataracts: A Systematic Review and Meta–Analysis [Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis]

BackgroundCataracts are the main cause of poor vision and blindness worldwide. The effects of statin administration on cataracts remain debated. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta‐analysis to determine whether statin use affects the risk of cataracts.Methods and ResultsWe performed a systematic search of the electronic databases PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library through January 2016. Weighted averages were reported as relative risk values with 95% CIs. Statistical heterogeneity scores were assessed with the standard Cochran’s Q test and the I2 statistic. A total of 6 cohort studies, 6 case–control studies, and 5 randomized controlled trials, together involving more than 313 200 patients, were included in our study. The pooled estimates of cohort studies indicated that the use of statins moderately increases the risk of cataracts (relative risk, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01–1.25). The pooled estimates of case–control studies (relative risk=1.10, 95% CI, 0.99–1.23) and randomized controlled trials (relative risk, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.72–1.10) indicated that the use of statins does not increase the risk of cataracts. The sensitivity analysis confirmed the stability of the results. Heterogeneity was found among the cohort and case–control studies.ConclusionsBased on the present meta‐analysis of these studies, we could only conclude that there is no clear evidence showing that statin use increases the risk of cataracts. The most likely case is that there is no association between statin use and cataracts. Because of the considerable benefits of statins in cardiovascular patients, this issue should not deter their use.

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