To explore whether oral statin and other antihyperlipidemic medicationsare associated with open-angle glaucoma.
The administrative clinical databases maintained at the Veterans AffairsMedical Center, Birmingham, Ala, were used to conduct a matched case-controlstudy. Cases were all male patients aged 50 years and older with a new diagnosisof glaucoma on an outpatient or inpatient visit during the period January1, 1997, through December 31, 2001. Ten control subjects were matched to eachcase according to age (within 1 year). Prescription files were assessed forstatin use as well as additional medications to lower cholesterol levels.Information on comorbid medical conditions was also obtained. Conditionallogistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidenceintervals (CIs).
Longer duration of statin use was associated with a lower risk of open-angleglaucoma (P for trend = .04) primarily among subjects with 24months or more of use (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.39-0.92). When stratified by comorbidmedical condition, among those with cardiovascular disease (OR, 0.63; 95%CI, 0.42-0.97), lipid metabolism disorders (OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.41-0.99),and the absence of cerebrovascular disease (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.58-0.99),statins demonstrated a protective effect on open-angle glaucoma. Finally,a protective association was also observed among those who used nonstatincholesterol-lowering agents (OR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.37-0.97).
Initial examination of an administrative clinical database indicatesthe intriguing possibility that long-term use of oral statins may be associatedwith a reduced risk of open-angle glaucoma, particularly among those withcardiovascular and lipid diseases. Nonstatin cholesterol-lowering agents werealso associated with a reduced risk of having open-angle glaucoma. Additionalinvestigation is warranted as to whether these classes of agents may providean additional therapeutic addition for glaucoma.