Large studies answering this question are still lacking. Evidence-based medicine recommending Statins for AMD is premature at this point as mentioned below.
A highly-respected Cochrane review concluded "Evidence from currently available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is insufficient to conclude that statins have a role in preventing or delaying the onset or progression of AMD." KEY RESULTS: "Neither trial provided sufficient evidence to determine whether statins are effective in delaying the onset or progression of AMD. Information was lacking for outcomes related to vision, quality of life, and adverse events."
However, an intriguing article from Mass Eye & Ear found that "High-dose statins may result in resolution of drusenoid pigment epithelial detachments (PEDs) and improvement in [vision].
EBioMedicine. 2016 Feb 4;5:198-203. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.01.033. eCollection
Regression of Some High-risk Features of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
in Patients Receiving Intensive Statin Treatment.
Vavvas DG(1), Daniels AB(1), Kapsala ZG(1), Goldfarb JW(1), Ganotakis E(1),
Loewenstein JI(1), Young LH(1), Gragoudas ES(1), Eliott D(1), Kim IK(1),
Tsilimbaris MK(1), Miller JW(1).
(1)Retina Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary,
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
EBioMedicine. 2016 Mar;5:26-7.
IMPORTANCE: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) remains the leading cause of
blindness in developed countries, and affects more than 150 million worldwide.
Despite effective anti-angiogenic therapies for the less prevalent neovascular
form of AMD, treatments are lacking for the more prevalent dry form. Similarities
in risk factors and pathogenesis between AMD and atherosclerosis have led
investigators to study the effects of statins on AMD incidence and progression
with mixed results. A limitation of these studies has been the heterogeneity of
AMD disease and the lack of standardization in statin dosage.
OBJECTIVE: We were interested in studying the effects of high-dose statins,
similar to those showing regression of atherosclerotic plaques, in AMD.
DESIGN: Pilot multicenter open-label prospective clinical study of 26 patients
with diagnosis of AMD and the presence of many large, soft drusenoid deposits.
Patients received 80 mg of atorvastatin daily and were monitored at baseline and
every 3 months with complete ophthalmologic exam, best corrected visual acuity
(VA), fundus photographs, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and blood work
(AST, ALT, CPK, total cholesterol, TSH, creatinine, as well as a pregnancy test
for premenopausal women).
RESULTS: Twenty-three subjects completed a minimum follow-up of 12 months.
High-dose atorvastatin resulted in regression of drusen deposits associated with
vision gain (+ 3.3 letters, p = 0.06) in 10 patients. No subjects progressed to
advanced neovascular AMD.
CONCLUSIONS: High-dose statins may result in resolution of drusenoid pigment
epithelial detachments (PEDs) and improvement in VA, without atrophy or
neovascularization in a high-risk subgroup of AMD patients. Confirmation from
larger studies is warranted.
PMID: 27077128 [Indexed for MEDLINE]