We aimed to perform a systematic literature search on the latest evidence of the role of statin in reducing diabetic retinopathy and its need for intervention.
A comprehensive search on cohort studies/clinical trials that assess statins and diabetic retinopathy up until August 2019 was performed. The outcome measured was the incidence of diabetic retinopathy and its need for intervention.
There were 558.177 patients from six studies. Statin was associated with a lower incidence of diabetic retinopathy (hazard ratio: 0.68 (0.55, 0.84), p < 0.001; I: 95%). For the subtypes of diabetic retinopathy, statin lowers the incidence of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (hazard ratio: 0.69 (0.51, 0.93), p = 0.01; I: 90%), non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (hazard ratio: 0.80 (0.66, 0.96), p = 0.02; I: 93%), and diabetic macular edema (hazard ratio: 0.56 (0.39, 0.80), p = 0.002; I: 82%). Statin was associated with a reduced need for retinal laser treatment with a hazard ratio of 0.70 (0.64, 0.76) (p < 0.001; I: 0%), intravitreal injection with a hazard ratio of 0.82 (0.79, 0.85) (p < 0.001; I: 0%), and vitrectomy with a hazard ratio of 0.64 (0.48, 0.85) (p < 0.001; I: 75%). Overall, statin was associated with a reduced need for intervention for diabetic retinopathy with a hazard ratio of 0.72 (0.64, 0.80) (p < 0.001; I: 73%). The regression-based Egger's test showed statistically significant small-study effects for non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (p = 0.011) outcomes.
Statin was associated with a decreased risk of diabetic retinopathy and its subtypes. Statin also reduced the need for intervention with retinal laser treatment, intravitreal injection, and vitrectomy.

References

PubMed