Lengthy-term statin use linked to decrease danger of glaucoma

The long-term use of statins, medication that management elevated levels of cholesterol, has been linked to a decrease danger of growing glaucoma, a brand new research suggests.

The research, which was printed in JAMA Ophthalmology, brings the hyperlink between statin and danger of glaucoma into sharper focus. The researchers at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital have discovered that taking statins for 5 or extra years is related to a decrease danger of growing main open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

Previous analysis has urged that statins additionally decrease intraocular strain and promote circulation to the optic nerve. Now, the brand new research offers long-term knowledge.  The workforce of researchers adopted and gathered data from 136,782 sufferers aged 40 years outdated and above for about 15 years.

The researchers recruited the sufferers from the Nurses’ Well being Survey (NHS) from 2000 to 2014, the NHS2 between 1999 and 2015, and the Well being Professionals Observe-up Research (HPFS) from 2000 to 2014.

Retinal picture of left eye in a 76 years outdated lady with glaucoma. Picture Credit score: Santibhavank P / Shutterstock

Decrease danger of glaucoma in statin customers

The researchers took into consideration the usage of statins and incidence of glaucoma. They collected self-reported knowledge on the respondent’s statin use and serum levels of cholesterol. The outcomes of the research confirmed that utilizing statins for 5 years outdated and above is linked to a 21 p.c decrease danger of growing open-angle glaucoma.

Moreover, the researchers discovered that growing ranges of ldl cholesterol additionally surges the chance of glaucoma. Sufferers with any historical past of elevated ldl cholesterol have been 17 p.c extra prone to have glaucoma. In truth, each 20 mg/dL rise in whole serum levels of cholesterol within the blood is said to a 7-percent improve in main open-angle glaucoma danger.

“Our research suggests attainable protecting associations past cardiovascular circumstances for long-term statin use. Statins might also strengthen neuroprotective mechanisms that forestall degeneration of cells within the optic nerve,” Jae Hee Kang, the assistant professor of drugs within the Channing Division of Community Medication, mentioned in an announcement.

Future analysis continues to be wanted

Nonetheless, the researchers identified that the research relied on self-reported statin use and levels of cholesterol. Additionally, they mentioned that future research might improve the protection, sampling extra numerous populations.

Additionally, the researchers reiterated that the findings of the research don’t imply that individuals with a household historical past of glaucoma ought to take statins or different medication that decrease levels of cholesterol. It’s necessary to conduct additional research and scientific trials to find out if there’s a connection between the usage of statins and glaucoma prevention.

“Our research doesn’t deal with whether or not statins cease the progress of the illness. That might require a scientific trial,” Kang mentioned, emphasizing excessive danger of growing glaucoma isn’t a purpose to start out statins, additional research are nonetheless wanted.

“As excessive ldl cholesterol and statin use have been related to different neurodegenerative ailments, the interrelationships between ldl cholesterol, glaucoma and these outcomes can also be fertile floor for additional scientific inquiry,” Kang added.

What’s glaucoma?

A glaucoma is a gaggle of ailments that injury the optic nerve, which leads to blindness.

About three million People have glaucoma, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) experiences. Glaucoma is the main reason for imaginative and prescient loss throughout the globe. In 2013, about 64.three million individuals have glaucoma worldwide, and the quantity is projected to extend to a staggering 76 million in 2020, and 111.eight million by 2040.

Main open angle glaucoma is the commonest kind of glaucoma and it occurs due to blockage within the eye’s drainage canals. In consequence, the intraocular strain will increase since the correct amount of fluid can’t exit of the attention.

Although many individuals with this sort of glaucoma are symptom-free, late analysis can finally result in imaginative and prescient loss and blindness. POAG progresses slowly and in some instances, with out noticeable imaginative and prescient loss for a few years.

The frequent indicators and signs of glaucoma embody a slight lack of peripheral imaginative and prescient and problem of adjusting to low gentle. However, since there isn’t a accompanying ache or discomfort, about 50 p.c of individuals with glaucoma don’t know they’ve it. The dearth of signs makes early detection laborious, and by the point they’re identified, it’s too late to stop imaginative and prescient loss.

Journal reference:

Kang, J., Boumenna, T., and Stein, J. (2019). Affiliation of Statin Use and Excessive Serum Ldl cholesterol Ranges With Danger of Main Open-Angle Glaucoma. JAMA Ophthalmology. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/article-abstract/2732293