Do cataracts increase as cholesterol decreases?

“, said study lead author Jonas Ghouse, MD, Ph.D., a member of the cardiac genetics team, Laboratory of Molecular Cardiology in the department of biomedical sciences at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark .

Using the UK Biobank, a large database of UK residents that tracks the serious health and medical conditions of nearly half a million adults, researchers analyzed the genetic data of more than half a million adults. 402,000 people.


The researchers focused on five previously identified common genetic variants that lower LDL cholesterol levels. They then calculated a genetic score based on the previously identified impact of each variant on LDL cholesterol. The genetic coding data were examined to identify carriers of a rare mutation in the HMGCR gene known as a predictive loss of function mutation.

Research shows that an HMGCR genetic risk score identifies people at higher risk for cataracts and cataract surgery. Every 38.7 mg/dL reduction in LDL cholesterol by genetic score was associated with a 14% higher risk of cataracts and a 25% higher risk of cataract surgery.

Of the 169,172 with HMGCR sequencing data, 32 (0.02%) carried one of 17 rare HMGCR-predicted loss-of-function mutations. Compared with non-carriers, carriers of these rare mutations are four and a half times more likely to develop cataracts and five times more likely to need cataract surgery.

Where does the real effect of lowering cholesterol lie?

The key difference between the two analyzes is that the loss-of-function mutations are more detrimental than the normal variants, which means they mimic the change typically caused by drugs,” he said.

When you take a statin, you have an almost complete suppression of that protein, and when you have the loss-of-function mutation, you also have a significantly reduced ability to produce that protein.

The main limitation of the study is that although carrying these genetic variants constitutes a lifetime risk of developing cataracts, that risk should not be assessed equally for people who start taking a statin after This is because of the positive effect statins can have on lowering blood cholesterol levels. Further evaluation of this association is needed in more clinical trials to confirm these findings.

Source: Medindia

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