What your patient might ask you…

Does my statin medication help with my diabetic retinopathy?

Maybe. A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology found that patients taking a statin had a reduced risk of diabetic retinopathy.

The study details:
The study included almost 38,000 Taiwanese patients between the years 1998-2013. All had type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia and half of them took statins, the other half didn’t.

What did they find?
A couple of main points:
1. Patients that took a statin had a reduced risk of diabetic retinopathy and a lower need for invasive treatments (i.e vitrectomies, intravitreal injections).
2. The benefit increased as the statin intensity increased giving better LDL reduction.
This data complements the ACCORD study that found a similar effect.

How do statins help diabetic retinopathy?
Statins can improve endothelial function and they have anti-inflammatory, antioxidation, and antithrombotic effects. These effects seem to prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy.

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