High cholesterol, statin use and glaucoma risk


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Findings from a new study suggest that high cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), but longer use of a statin was associated with a lower risk compared with never use.

For the study, researchers examined data from three population-based cohorts: the Nurses’ Health Study (n=50,710), the Nurses’ Health Study 2 (n=62,992) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n=23,080).

After an overall follow-up duration of at least 15 years, a total of 886 new cases of POAG were identified.

The study found that every 20 mg/dL increase in total serum cholesterol was associated with a 7 per cent increase in risk of POAG. Five or more years of statin use, compared with never use of statins, was associated with a 21 per cent lower risk of POAG.

The authors said, while the results need to be confirmed in other studies, they are of interest given the widespread use of statins in older persons at risk for this type of glaucoma.

The research is published in JAMA Ophthalmology