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Lipid lowering agents reduce incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy

Lipid lowering agents reduce incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy

Statins and fenofibrate reduce incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy, finds a new study.

According to a Japanese study, use of lipid-lowering agents including fenofibrate and statins reduces not only the incidence of diabetic retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes but also the need for treatment in those who already have the condition. The results of study have appeared in Journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

The results are in accordance with  ACCORD study, which showed that combining fenofibrate with a statin reduced the rate of progression of diabetic retinopathy, and an analysis of the FIELD study indicated that fenofibrate reduced the need for laser treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Ryo Kawasaki,  at  Department of Vision Informatics (Topcon), Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan, and colleagues conducted an observational study to determine whether a use of lipid‐lowering medication reduces the risk of diabetic retinopathy and the need for treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes using a real‐world health claims database.

They retrospectively analyzed health claims database of the Japan Medical Data Center (JMDC) of almost 85,000 patients with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was defined according to ICD‐10 codes for use of glucose‐lowering medication. Use of lipid‐lowering medication for at least 1 year was confirmed by the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System. diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME) were determined by ICD‐10 codes. Diabetic retinopathy related treatments were determined by health insurance claims.

The researchers found that there were 69 070 individuals with type 2 diabetes at baseline, among whom DR developed in 5687 over a period of 3 years. The further observed that use of lipid‐lowering medication was associated with decreased risk of incidence of DR. Use of lipid‐lowering medication was also associated with decreased incidence of DME, any treatments for DR, laser photocoagulation and vitrectomy in patients with DR at baseline.

The authors concluded that in patients with type 2 diabetes with a variety of risk profiles, use of lipid‐lowering medication reduced the risk of DR and thus the risks involved in treatment with laser photocoagulation and vitrectomy. The lipid-lowering medications are beneficial for both the incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy.

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Source: With inputs from Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism

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