Impact of Dyslipidemia Medications on the Prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy Among a Large US Cohort

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2023 Nov;54(11):626-633. doi: 10.3928/23258160-20231017-01. Epub 2023 Nov 1.


Background and objective: Dyslipidemia medications such as statins and fibrates may be associated with a reduction in diabetic retinopathy (DR) progression, but real-world data is lacking. This study evaluates cholesterol-lowering medications and their association with the prevalence of DR and advanced DR complications.

Patients and methods: Data was collected using codes from the International Classification of Diseases on TriNetX, a cross-sectional database of over 79 million Americans, between June and August 2022. Prevalence and prevalence odds ratios (POR) were calculated.

Results: Patients taking pitavastatin (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.49, 0.84), fenofibrate (OR 0.83, CI 0.79, 0.87), or evolocumab (OR 0.80, CI 0.68, 0.95) had lower POR of proliferative DR compared to nonproliferative DR. Patients taking any cholesterol medication had a lower POR of vitreous hemorrhage. Patients taking fibrates also had lower POR of neovascular glaucoma.

Conclusion: This exploratory study highlights positive associations between DR and dyslipidemia and medications that may have fewer worsening events in DR patients. [Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2023;54:626-633.].

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / etiology
  • Dyslipidemias* / complications
  • Dyslipidemias* / drug therapy
  • Dyslipidemias* / epidemiology
  • Fibric Acids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol
  • Fibric Acids