Insufficient evidence for statins in age-related macular degeneration

Clinical question: 
How effective are statins in delaying the onset and/or progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?
Bottom line: 
In the one completed trial, the analyses of 30 participants showed no statistically significant difference between the simvastatin and the placebo arm in visual acuity at 3 months of treatment or 45 days after the completion of treatment. The lens and retina status were unchanged during and after the treatment period for both groups. In the ongoing trial, the preliminary analyses of 42 participants who completed 12 months' follow-up did not show a statistically significant difference between the simvastatin and the placebo arm in visual acuity, drusen score or visual function (effect estimates and confidence intervals were not available).
Caveat: 
There were only 2 small studies, one of which is still ongoing.
Context: 
AMD is a progressive late onset disorder of the macula that affects central vision. Although AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years in industrialised countries,ยน its pathogenesis is not clearly understood. Recent epidemiologic, genetic and pathological evidence has shown AMD shares a number of risk factors with atherosclerosis, leading to the hypothesis that statins may exert protective effects in AMD. 1. Congdon NG et al. JAMA 2003;290:2057-60
Review CD#: 
CD006927
PEARLS No: 
212
Date: 
November, 2009
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy