Statin therapy reduces risk of diabetic retinopathy


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Noticias Médicas Univadis
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A new study which investigated the link between statin therapy and the development of diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes and dyslipidaemia has found that statins may decrease the progression of the condition. 

The study included 37,894 Taiwanese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and dyslipidaemia, of which 18,947 were taking statins and 18,947 were not. The study had a mean follow-up of 7.6 years for the statin group and 7.3 years for the non-statin group. 

A total of 2,004 patients in the statin group (10.6%) and 2,269 patients in the non-statin group (12.0%) developed diabetic retinopathy during the study period. 

The authors found that compared with the nonstatin group, the statin group had a significantly lower rate of diabetic retinopathy (hazard ratio [HR] 0.86; 95% CI 0.81-0.91), nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (HR 0.92; 95% CI 0.86-0.99), proliferative diabetic retinopathy (HR 0.64; 95% CI 0.58-0.70), vitreous haemorrhage (HR 0.62; 95% CI 0.54-0.71), tractional retinal detachment (HR 0.61; 95% CI 0.47-0.79), and macular oedema (HR 0.60; 95% CI 0.46-0.79). Statin use was also linked with a lower need for invasive treatments for vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy. 

A separate analysis showed the benefit increased as the statin intensity and patient adherence increased. 

The findings are published in JAMA Ophthalmology.