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Longer Duration of Statin Use Linked to Lower Risk for Glaucoma

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 -- Statin use may lower the risk for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), according to a study published online May 2 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Jae H. Kang, Sc.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues evaluated the association between elevated cholesterol levels and statin use and incident POAG among participants (age, ≥40 years) in the Nurses' Health Study (50,710 participants; followed from 2000 to 2014), the Nurses' Health Study 2 (62,992 participants; 1999 to 2015), and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (23,080 participants; 2000 to 2014). Cholesterol levels, serum cholesterol levels, and length of statin use were all self-reported.

The researchers found that among the 136,782 participants in the three cohorts (113,702 women and 23,080 men), there were 886 incident cases of POAG. For every 20-mg/dL increase in total serum cholesterol, there was a 7 percent increase in risk for POAG (risk ratio [RR], 1.07; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.11, P = 0.004). There was also an association between any self-reported history of elevated cholesterol and a higher risk for POAG (RR, 1.17; 95 percent CI, 1.00 to 1.37), while a history of any statin use was associated with a 15 percent lower risk for POAG (RR, 0.85; 95 percent CI, 0.73 to 0.99). Use of statins for at least five years was associated with a 21 percent lower risk for POAG (RR, 0.79; 95 percent CI, 0.65 to 0.97; P = 0.02 for linear trend) compared with never use of statins.

"This study highlights the importance of continued investigation into opportunities for the primary prevention of POAG, which will require further elucidation of underlying biological mechanisms and testing of promising interventions in high-risk populations," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Several authors disclosed grant funding from corporations and government agencies.

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Posted: May 2019

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