3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme a reductase inhibitors and the presence of age-related macular degeneration in the Cardiovascular Health Study

Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 Jan;124(1):33-7. doi: 10.1001/archopht.124.1.33.


Objective: To evaluate both the use of cholesterol-lowering medications as a group and the use of statins specifically with regard to the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Methods: A case-control study was conducted using data from the Cardiovascular Health Study, a population-based prospective study of adults enrolled from 4 communities in the United States in 1989 and 1990. Individuals with AMD (cases) and those without AMD (controls) were compared with regard to their use of cholesterol-lowering medications and statins.

Results: Nearly equal proportions of cases and controls used cholesterol-lowering medications, both before adjustment (odds ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.70-1.21) and after adjustment for selected confounding variables (age, sex, and race) (odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.98-1.87). Statin use was also found to be similar among cases and controls (odds ratio, 0.98; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-1.30). After controlling for the aforementioned 3 confounders (odds ratio, 1.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.99-1.98), we noted a modest trend for statin users to have an increased risk of AMD.

Conclusion: The results suggest that no association exists between having used cholesterol-lowering medications and AMD. However, there was a suggestion that statin use might increase the risk of AMD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors