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Study Finds No Link Between Statins and Risk of Advanced AMD

There is good news for people who take statins to reduce their cholesterol levels. A study published in the December 2009 issue of Ophthalmologyconcludes that the use of statins is not associated with the risk of developing advanced, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Examples of statins include Lipitor (atorvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin). Statins are usually taken to reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Researchers stated that it is possible that statins have a protective effect on AMD but that results were not conclusive. Inconclusive results could have been caused because the drugs had not been used long enough or could have been ambiguous because patients who are taking statins for cardiovascular disease are also at an increased risk for developing AMD. Data from the? Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial was studied by researchers. All patients in the trial were at risk for advanced AMD but had not yet progressed to that stage. The study was restricted by the use of patient reports for starting and stopping times for statin use and by the lack of information on certain risk factors for AMD. Some researchers did suggest that a randomized controlled trial be conducted to further evaluate the effect of statins on AMD. Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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