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Statins: New Studies Indicate Positive Effects on Fractures, Bone Mineral Density

KEY POINT

Use of the statins—already on the upswing as benefits are recognized and concerns about liver toxicities diminish—may jump even more following recent reports that the agents increase patients’ bone mineral density (BMD) and reduce fractures. Three large observational studies and one research letter, all published in late June, point to the surprising effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.

SOURCES

Chan KA et al. Inhibitors of hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase and risk of fracture among older women. Lancet. 2000;355:2185–8.

Edwards CJ et al. Oral statins and increased bone-mineral density in postmenopausal women. Lancet. 2000;355:2218–9.

Meier CR et al. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and the risk of fractures. JAMA. 2000;283:3205–10. www.jama.com.

Wang PS et al. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and the risk of hip fractures in elderly patients. JAMA. 2000;283:3211–6.

Cummings SR, Bauer DC. Do statins prevent both cardiovascular disease and fracture [editorial]? JAMA. 2000;283:3255–7.

Mundy G et al. Stimulation of bone formation in vitro and in rodents by statins. Science. 1999;286:1946–9.