Statin medication – commonly used to lower cholesterol levels – could also help prevent formation of scar tissue inside the eye, suggests a study.
Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina separates from the layer underneath and may be described as a curtain over part of the field of vision.
Results indicate, according to the study, that use of statin medication at the time of surgery was associated with a 28 per cent reduction in the risk of renewed surgery among patients who underwent a primary vitrectomy to treat retinal detachment.
“It seems that statin treatment is beneficial in the treatment of retinal detachment, the most serious common retinal disorder which may at worst lead to blindness,” said Docent Sirpa Loukovaara from the Helsinki University Hospital in Finland – the lead author of the study.
“This means that systemic statin medication may be beneficial not only in the prevention of cardio-vascular diseases but also in terms of eye health.”
The benefits may come probably due to the effect of the statin medication on reducing the inflammation inside the eye and hindering the formation of scar tissue.
However, statins were not associated with a reduced risk of renewed surgery in the other vitreoretinal disease groups involving retinal surgery, such as age-related macular pucker formation, the researchers noted.
For the study, detailed in the journal Acta Ophthalmologica, the team examined renewed surgeries among 5,709 eye patients who were admitted to the hospital for a vitreoretinal surgical procedure.
While “at the moment there is no safe drug treatment that could prevent the formation of scar tissue inside the eye, it’s possible that in the future, retinal detachment patients thought to benefit from the treatment would receive statin medication as an implant or as an injection inside the eye,” Loukovaara said.