(HealthDay News) – For individuals with hyperlipidemia, statin use is associated with significant reductions in the risk of open-angle glaucoma (OAG), according to research published in the October issue of Ophthalmology.

Joshua D. Stein, MD, of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, longitudinal cohort analysis of 316,182 individuals with hyperlipidemia, with one or more outpatient prescription for statins, to determine whether statin use affects the development of OAG.

For every month of statin use, the researchers found that the risk of developing OAG was reduced by 0.3%; the risk of progression from glaucoma suspect to OAG was reduced by 0.4%; and the risk of requiring medical treatment for OAG was reduced by 0.4%. Compared with those with hyperlipidemia who received no statins, individuals who took statins continuously for two years had an 8% lower risk of developing OAG and a 9% lower risk of progressing from glaucoma suspect to OAG. Among those who were and were not taking statins there was no difference in the need for glaucoma surgery.

“Given the mounting evidence of statin protection against OAG, including both basic science and observational clinical studies, an interventional prospective study might provide additional insights into the role of statins in the prevention of early OAG,” the authors write.

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