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Durga Borkar, Vivien Tham, John V Parker, Aileen Uchida, Aleli C Vinoya, Nisha Acharya; Association between Statin Use and Uveitis: Results from the Pacific Ocular Inflammation Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):1862.
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To assess whether there is a protective association between statin use and subsequent uveitis diagnosis
A retrospective, population-based case-control study was performed to investigate the association between statin use and uveitis. The electronic medical records of Kaiser Permanente (KP) Hawaii (N=217,061) were queried for diagnosis codes related to uveitis during the study period, January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2007. Selected charts were individually reviewed by a uveitis specialist (NRA) to confirm the diagnosis. Two control groups were each randomly selected at a 5:1 ratio to cases. One control group was selected from the general KP Hawaii membership, and the other was selected from the subgroup of members who had at least one visit to the ophthalmology clinic during the study period. Each control was assigned an index date to match the respective case’s uveitis diagnosis date. Statin use in the year prior to the index or diagnosis date was determined based on an electronic search of the KP Hawaii pharmacy database. A conditional regression model with uveitis as the outcome was used to evaluate the association between statin use and uveitis for each control group.
One hundred eight incident cases of uveitis were identified. Nineteen percent of uveitis patients had used a statin medication in the year prior to diagnosis compared to 29% of patients in the general Kaiser population control (p=0.045) and 38% of patients in the ophthalmology clinic control (p<0.001). Adjusting for age, gender, race, smoking status, and autoimmune diseases, uveitis patients were 49% less likely (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.29 to 0.90, p=0.02) to have used statin medication compared to the general population control. Compared to the ophthalmology clinic control, patients with uveitis were 35% less likely (OR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.36 to 1.16, p=0.15) to have used statin medication when adjusting for these factors.
Patients who were diagnosed with uveitis were less likely to have used a statin medication in the previous year. A protective association has also been found between statin use and multiple types of cancer and autoimmune diseases. These relationships have been attributed to the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of statins. Similar mechanisms may explain the protective association found in this study.
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