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Can HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors (“statins”) slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration? The Age-Related Maculopathy Statin Study (ARMSS)

Authors Guymer RH, Dimitrov PN, Varsamidis M, Lim LL, Baird PN, Vingrys AJ, Robman L

Published 12 September 2008 Volume 2008:3(3) Pages 581—593


Robyn H Guymer1,3, Peter N Dimitrov1, Mary Varsamidis1, Lyndell L Lim1,3, Paul N Baird1, Algis J Vingrys2, Luba Robman1,3

1Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 2Department of Optometry and Visual Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 3Royal Victorian Eye and EAR Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is responsible for the majority of visual impairment in the Western world. The role of cholesterol-lowering medications, HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors or statins, in reducing the risk of AMD or of delaying its progression has not been fully investigated. A 3-year prospective randomized controlled trial of 40 mg simvastatin per day compared to placebo in subjects at high risk of AMD progression is described. This paper outlines the primary aims of the Age-Related Maculopathy Statin Study (ARMSS), and the methodology involved. Standardized clinical grading of macular photographs and comparison of serial macular digital photographs, using the International grading scheme, form the basis for assessment of primary study outcomes. In addition, macular function is assessed at each visit with detailed psychophysical measurements of rod and cone function. Information collected in this study will assist in the assessment of the potential value of HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors (statins) in reducing the risk of AMD progression.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration, progression, randomized controlled trial, HMG Co-A reductase inhibitor, statin, visual function

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