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BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 09 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:833
  1. Harvey Marcovitch (, BMJ syndication editor

    High dose inhaled steroids pose cataract risk

    A case-control study using the UK general practice research database has found that elderly people using high doses of inhaled corticosteroids are at greater risk of cataract than controls. Each group consisted of more than 15 000 patients treated for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Those receiving up to 400 μg daily were not at increased risk, after adjustment for use of systemic steroids. The odds ratio for those taking more than 1600 μg was 1.69 (95% confidence interval 1.17 to 2.43), and there was a gradient with increased duration of use. The authors calculated, assuming the association was causal, that 41% of their risk was attributable to the drugs. This risk needs to be carefully …

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