Protective Effect of Statin Use in the Progression of Dry to Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration
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PURPOSE: Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the industrialized world. Studies suggest that HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) might slow the progression of dry ARMD to the exudative stage. We set out to determine if statin use reduces the risk of progression to exudative ARMD in a matched case-control study. METHODS: An epidemiological study of 61 cases with exudative ARMD matched by age, gender, and race to 61 controls with early, high-risk ARMD determined by prospective ophthalmologic examination. RESULTS: The risk of exudative ARMD was increased by smoking within the past 20 years (OR=5.8, 95% CI 1.42-23.77) and reduced by use of statins (OR=0.2, 95% CI 0.04-0.93). Further, the duration of statin use up to four years was associated with an increasing degree of protection (9% reduction each month, 95% CI 0.85-0.98). CONCLUSION: Statin use may reduce the progression from dry to exudative ARMD.