Statins for age-related macular degeneration

  • Gehlbach P
  • Li T
  • Hatef E
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BACKGROUND: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive late onset disorder of the macula affecting central vision. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years in industrialized countries (Congdon 2003). Recent epidemiologic, genetic and pathological evidence has shown AMD shares a number of risk factors with atherosclerosis, leading to the hypothesis that statins may exert protective effects in AMD. OBJECTIVES: To examine the effectiveness of statins compared with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in delaying the onset and/or progression of AMD. SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 9), MEDLINE (January 1950 to September 2011), EMBASE (January 1980 to September 2011), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS) (January 1982 to September 2011), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (, ( and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) ( There were no date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. The electronic databases were last searched on 16 September 2011. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared statins with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in participants who were either susceptible to or diagnosed as having early stages of AMD. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently evaluated the search results against the selection criteria. Two Italian speaking colleagues extracted data. One author entered data. We did not perform a meta-analysis because only one completed RCT was identified. MAIN RESULTS: Two studies met the selection criteria. One trial reported insufficient details to assess the risk of bias; the other trial is ongoing.Of the completed trial, the analyses of 30 participants did not show a statistically significant difference between the simvastatin and the placebo arm in visual acuity at three months of treatment (decimal visual acuity 0.21+/- 0.56 in simvastatin and 0.19+/- 0.40 in placebo arm) or 45 days after the completion of treatment (decimal visual acuity 0.20+/- 0.50 in simvastatin and 0.19+/- 0.48 in placebo arm). The lens and retina status were unchanged during and after the treatment period for both groups.Of the ongoing tria…




Gehlbach, P., Li, T., & Hatef, E. (2012). Statins for age-related macular degeneration. In Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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