Taking drugs to control diabetes and lower cholesterol may reduce a person’s risk of developing a common eye disease, a new study suggests.
The study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, saw researchers draw together information from 14 studies to assess the impact of the drugs on the risk of people developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Experts, led by a team from University Hospital Bonn in Germany, examined studies involving almost 40,000 people from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Russia.
Participants were all over the age of 50 and taking at least one type of drug to lower cholesterol (including statins), control diabetes (including insulin), to control inflammation (excluding steroids), or a drug to treat movement disorders caused by neurodegenerative disease.
Some 9,332 people involved in the study were diagnosed with AMD.
Researchers found that people taking drugs to lower cholesterol had a 15% reduced risk of developing AMD, compared to those who were not taking the drugs.
Meanwhile, people taking medicine to control diabetes appeared to have a 22% lesser risk.
No such associations were found for the other types of drugs being taken by people involved in the study.
“Our study indicates an association of systemic use of LLD (lipid-lowering drugs) and antidiabetic drugs with lower AMD prevalence across several European cohort studies,” the authors wrote.
But they stressed that further studies are needed to examine the findings.
AMD is a common condition that affects the middle part of vision.
While it does not cause total blindness, it can make routine activities, including reading and recognising faces, difficult. – PA Media/dpa