HealthDay News — For Taiwanese patients with type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia, statin therapy is associated with a reduced risk for diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published online January 10 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Eugene Yu-Chuan Kang, MD, from the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan, Taiwan, and colleagues examined the correlation between statin therapy and development of diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes and dyslipidemia. After propensity score matching, 18,947 patients were included in the statin and nonstatin groups.

The researchers found that 10.6 and 12.0% of patients in the statin and nonstatin groups, respectively, developed diabetic retinopathy. Compared with the nonstatin group, the statin group had significantly lower rates of diabetic retinopathy, nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, vitreous hemorrhage, tractional retinal detachment, and macular edema (hazard ratios, 0.86, 0.92, 0.64, 0.62, 0.61, and 0.60, respectively); they also had lower rates of interventions such as retinal laser treatment, intravitreal injection, and vitrectomy (hazard ratios, 0.71, 0.74, and 0.58, respectively) and underwent a smaller number of these interventions (rate ratios, 0.61, 0.68, and 0.54, respectively). A correlation was also noted for statin therapy with reduced risks for major adverse cardiovascular events, new-onset diabetic neuropathy, and new-onset diabetic foot ulcers (hazard ratio, 0.81, 0.85, and 0.73, respectively). 

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“These results suggest that statins are associated with a decreased prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and may decrease the progression of diabetic retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia,” the authors write.

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