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Statins and diabetes drugs slash your risk of bad eyesight in old age, experts have found

STATINS and diabetes drugs keep your eyes sharp in old age, according to a study.

The pills, taken by millions of Brits, reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, known as AMD.

Millions of Brits take pills for high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes (stock image)

Around 600,000 people in the UK have AMD and it makes vision blurry or patchy, getting worse with age.

Experts at the University of Bonn in Germany found people taking common medications are up to a fifth less likely to develop AMD in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

Study author Dr Matthias Mauschitz said: This is the first large-scale study showing an association of using lipid-lowering drugs and anti-diabetic drugs with lower AMD in the general population.

These findings may provide future therapeutic targets.

The research included 14 smaller studies involving 38,694 over-50s in Europe.

It found people on cholesterol-lowering drugs, including statins, were 15 per cent less likely to develop AMD.

And those being treated for type 2 diabetes, which drugs like metformin, had a 22 per cent lower risk.

Cholesterol and diabetes medicines are the NHS most prescribed products, costing around 1.5billion out of a total 9.7bn spent on prescriptions last year.

Dr Mauschitz said they can reduce swelling in blood vessels connected to the eyes, slashing the risk of retina damage.

Some types of AMD have no cure or treatment and the cause of the condition is unclear.

Writing in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, Dr Mauschitz said the findings could help doctors understand how the disease starts.

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