Statins linked to reduced retinopathy risk in T2D with dyslipidemia

  • Kang EY & al.
  • JAMA Ophthalmol
  • 10 Jan 2019

  • curated by Miriam Tucker
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • For patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and dyslipidemia, statins may slow progression of vision-threatening retinopathy and reduce subsequent retinal laser treatments, intravitreal injections, and vitrectomies.

Why this matters

  • Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults.

Study design

  • Claims data analysis of 18,947 Taiwanese patients with T2D and dyslipidemia on statins (and no other lipid-lowering drugs), propensity-matched with 18,947 not taking statins.
  • Funding: Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Key results

  • DR was present in 10.6% and 12.0% of the statin and nonstatin groups, respectively.
  • Compared with the nonstatin group, those taking statins had significantly lower rates of (HRs; 95% CIs):
    • DR: 0.86 (0.81-0.91);
    • Nonproliferative DR: 0.92 (0.86-0.99);
    • Proliferative DR: 0.64 (0.58-0.70);
    • Vitreous hemorrhage: 0.62 (0.54-0.71);
    • Tractional retinal detachment: 0.61 (0.47-0.79);
    • Macular edema: 0.60 (0.46-0.79);
    • Retinal laser treatments: 0.71 (0.65-0.77);
    • Intravitreal injections: 0.74 (0.61-0.89);
    • Vitrectomy: 0.58 (0.48-0.69);
    • Major adverse cardiovascular events: 0.81 (0.77-0.85);
    • New-onset diabetic neuropathy: 0.85 (0.82-0.89);
    • New-onset diabetic foot ulcers: 0.73 (0.68-0.78).

Limitations

  • Lipid profiles and biomarkers for BP and serum glucose unavailable.
  • No data on eye laterality.
  • All-Asian population.
  • Retrospective design.

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