Source: McGwin G Jr, McNeal S, Owsley C, Girkin C, Epstein D, Lee PP. Statins and other cholesterol-lowering medications and the presence of glaucoma. Arch Ophthalmol 2004; 122(6):822-6. Long-term use of statins may yield a reduced risk of open-angle glaucoma in those with cardiovascular (CV) and lipid diseases. Researchers assessed the medical records of 667 men age >50 diagnosed with glaucoma at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala., between 1997 and 2001. Of these, 170 were diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, 31 had specified forms of glaucoma, and 466 had unspecified glaucoma. Each case was age-matched with 10 controls without glaucoma (n=6,667).
Researchers tracked prescriptions for statins (atorvastatin, cerivastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin, lovastatin) and nonstatin lipid-lowering agents, including fibrates and nicotinic acid. Using ICD-9-CM, they coded for ischemic heart disease; cerebrovascular disease; lipid metabolism disorders; hypertension; diseases of the arteries, arterioles, and capillaries; and diabetes.
There was a significant trend toward reduced risk of glaucoma with longer-term statin use (p=0.04). Use of nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy also was associated with a significantly reduced glaucoma risk among current and past users. Concurrent use of statin and nonstatin medications resulted in the largest risk reduction (OR, 0.52), followed by nonstatin use only (OR 0.60), and statin use only (OR, 0.60).
Significant associations existed between statin use and glaucoma among those with lipid metabolism disorders, cardiovascular disease, and those without cerebrovascular disease.
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