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An individual’s chance of developing ageing-related degenerative eye disease (AMD) may be reduced by routinely using medications intended to treat excessive cholesterol or manage Type 2 diabetes, according to new research on European populations.

Medications linked with reduced AMD prevalence 

This study was carried out as a component of the European Eye Epidemiology (E3) initiative, pooled analysis of data of all relevant existing data. According to the findings, there is a direct link between the widespread medications and a decreased incidence of AMD amongst Europeans.

AMD, the primary reason for severe vision impairment in elderly people in high-income nations, is a significant global health issue. Approximately 67 million people only in Europe suffer from the illness. As median lifespans keep rising, estimates predict that the number of new cases will immensely rise in the years to come.

It is important to note that AMD impairs central vision and reduces the ability to discern small details. Although doctors claim that various ageing-related environmental and genetic variables might cause AMD, it remains unclear how the typical adult can stop it or reduce its development.

Previous studies have suggested that medications for decreasing cholesterol, managing diabetes, and reducing inflammation could reduce the incidence of AMD. Still, such investigations also produced inconsistent findings and had small participant populations. Thus, the results of 14 hospital- and population-based studies were merged in the present study. Individuals from around Europe participated in those programs, including those who lived in the UK, Russia, Portugal, Norway, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Germany and France.

Drugs managing other conditions could help individuals with AMD 

Study participants were above 50 years and took diabetes-managing drugs like insulin, cholesterol-lowering medications like statins, inflammation-lowering medication minus steroids and levodopa. After considering all potentially confounding variables, the pooled research concluded that medications for decreasing cholesterol or managing diabetes showed a link to a 15 and 22% lower incidence of any form of AMD. 

Even though there were just a few cases with advanced AMD, there weren’t any similar connections with other drug classes.