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A common cholesterol drug fights cataracts, too
Date:2/9/2010

ly by patients, and only about 10% of those who get these prescriptions actually end up taking them. Once you start, it's important to continue taking them to avoid cardiovascular problems," Dr. Chodick warns. "But now we have even more good reasons to keep taking statins ― like an apple a day. People who begin taking them in their 40s to early 60s can reap a number of benefits, including better protection against cataracts."

A cataract is a type of clouding that develops in the lens of the eye, leading to varying degrees of sight impairment. It typically progresses slowly so that the sufferer may not even be aware of the problem. If left untreated, a cataract can lead to blindness. In the U.S., cataracts affect about 60% of both men and women over the age of 60. About 1.5 million cataract surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year, and visual disabilities associated with cataracts lead to over 8 million physician office visits a year.

"We believe that the regular use of statins for men and women under the age of 75 can significantly protect them against cataracts," Dr. Chodick concludes. Whether people who are not at risk for heart attacks should take them as a cataract preventative alone has not been determined. But before long we may be taking a daily statin pill along with our daily vitamin tablet, Dr. Chodick believes.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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