To determine if statins
are associated with the development or progression of age-related macular degeneration
A large, national insurance claims database
was reviewed to identify individuals aged 60 years or older who were enrolled for ≥2 years and had ≥1 visits to an eye provider. Prescription claims for statins
within a 24-month look-back period and outpatient lipid laboratory values were also reviewed. Cox regression analysis was used to determine whether statin use was associated with the development of nonexudative or exudative AMD or progressing from nonexudative to exudative AMD.
Of the 107,007 beneficiaries eligible for the nonexudative AMD analysis, 4,647 incident cases of nonexudative AMD occurred. Seven hundred and ninety-two incident cases of exudative AMD were found among the 113,111 beneficiaries eligible for the exudative AMD analysis. Of the 10,743 beneficiaries with known nonexudative AMD eligible for the progression model, 404 progressed to exudative AMD during their time in the plan. After multivariable analysis, statin use was not associated with the development of nonexudative AMD (P
> 0.05). Statin use of >12 months was associated with an increased hazard for developing exudative AMD (P
< 0.005). Among those taking statins
, only enrollees with the highest lipid levels had an increased hazard of developing exudative AMD (P
In those with elevated lipid levels, >1 year of statin use was associated with an increased hazard for exudative AMD. Lipid status influences the relationship between statins
and the risk of AMD. Because of a number of limitations in study design, these observations warrant further study and should not be the rationale for any changes in the use of statins
to treat dyslipidemias.