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Optom Vis Sci. 2012 Aug;89(8):1165-71. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3182644cd1.

Age-related cataract is associated with type 2 diabetes and statin use.

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  • 1School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.



Diabetes has been shown to be a risk factor for age-related (AR) cataract. As statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) are now commonly prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes, their impact on AR cataract prevalence should be considered. This study determines associations between AR cataract, type 2 diabetes, and reported statin use in a large optometric clinic population.


In all, 6397 patient files (ages <1-93 years) were reviewed. Overall prevalence of statin use was calculated for patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 452) and without diabetes (n = 5884). Multivariable logistic regression analysis for AR cataract was performed controlling for patient sex, smoking, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and statin use.


The prevalence of statin use (in patients aged >38 years) was 56% for those with type 2 diabetes and 16% for those without diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was significantly associated with nuclear sclerosis (OR = 1.62, 1.14-2.29) and cortical cataract (OR = 1.37, 1.02-1.83). Statin use was associated with nuclear sclerosis (OR = 1.48, 1.09-2.00) and posterior subcapsular cataract (OR = 1.48, 1.07-2.04). The 50% probability of cataract in statin users occurred at age 51.7 and 54.9 years in patients with type 2 diabetes and without diabetes, respectively. In non-statin users, it was significantly later at age 55.1 and 57.3 years for patients with type 2 diabetes and without diabetes, respectively (p < 0.001).


In this population, statin use was substantially higher in patients with type 2 diabetes and was associated with AR cataracts. Further long-term study is warranted to recommend monitoring of crystalline lenses in patients with type 2 diabetes benefiting from statins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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