The relationship between statins and diabetic retinopathy: A review of literature

Naif Mamdouh Alali, Hani Basher Albalawi, Hyder O Mirghani


Treatment with statins is a robust strategy in reducing cardiovascular complications among patients with diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease. There is an increasing awareness regarding the association of statins with diabetic retinopathy.

The current review aimed to assess the relationship of statins therapy to diabetic retinopathy.

The literature in PubMed and Google Scholar was searched for relevant articles from the first available article up to present using the terms statins, simvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin, and diabetic retinopathy. Among the 169 articles retrieved, 26 full-texts were assessed for eligibility and only sixteen studies (four from the USA, another four from Europe, six from Asia, and one from Australia and Brazil each) met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. The author name, year of publication, country, type of study, number of patients, and the duration of the study were reported.

The studies reviewed showed that statins reduce the development of diabetic retinopathy, retard the progression of hard exudates and micro-aneurisms, reduce retinopathy and macular oedema.

Statins prevent and reduce the progression of diabetic retinopathy and macular oedema.
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