Open Access Original research

Statin use and ocular inflammatory disease risk

Jacob J Yunker12, Gerald McGwin134 and Russell W Read15*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 700 18th Street South, Suite 601, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA

2 Retina Consultants of Alabama, 700 18th Street South, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA

3 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 700 18th Street South, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA

4 Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 700 18th Street South, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA

5 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 700 18th Street South, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA

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Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection 2013, 3:8  doi:10.1186/1869-5760-3-8

Published: 11 January 2013

Abstract

Background

This study aims to evaluate the effect of oral statin medication use on the subsequent development of ocular inflammatory disease (OID). A retrospective nested case–control study was carried out on patient records from the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. All male patients with a new diagnosis of OID over a 5-year period were included. Ten control subjects (without OID) were age-matched to each OID case. Prescription files of all subjects were queried for statin use. Information on selected comorbid medical conditions was also obtained. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of OID development in the context of statin use, controlling for comorbid conditions.

Results

Ninety-two incident cases of OID were identified. A trend toward a reduction in the risk of new OID development was found in patients that used statins compared to those that did not (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.20 to 1.23, p = 0.13). The longer the duration of statin use, the greater is the effect.

Conclusions

Use of oral statins may be associated with a reduced risk for the development of OID. This reduced risk increases with increasing duration of use. Larger clinical studies would be required to definitively establish the effectiveness of statins in lowering the incidence of OID.

Keywords:
Uveitis; Statins; Epidemiology; Veteran