Cholesterol Drugs May Lower Glaucoma Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Statins, a class of medications widely used for lowering cholesterol, may not only help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but may also help prevent the most common form of glaucoma, said Duke University Eye Center researchers.

Specifically, the researchers found in their pilot study a 40 percent decrease in glaucoma among long-term statin users.

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Duke ophthalmologists Paul Lee, M.D., and David Epstein, M.D., Duke chairman of ophthalmology, collaborated with researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on the recent study. Using patient databases at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Birmingham, they were able to conduct a matched case-control study.

"The VA system has computerized administrative and clinical databases of their patients," says Lee. "With our colleagues, we used these databases to look at patients who were diagnosed with glaucoma in that system. Because the system also includes detailed pharmacy records, we were able to compare patients with and without glaucoma with their use of statins and other anti-cholesterol drugs.

"The study results indicate that the people who were on a longer duration of statins

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