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Statin use over long-term reduces risk of osteoporosis : Study

Statin use over long-term  reduces risk of osteoporosis : Study

Long-term exposure is associated with a decreased risk of osteoporosis in both genders, according to a retrospective large-scaled cohort study published in the journal PLoS ONE. The researchers also found that the osteoprotective effect of statins was more prominent with a dependency on the statin intensity and cumulative dosage.

Tsung-Kun Lin, Taoyuan Armed Forces General Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan, and colleagues conducted the study to investigate the effects of the impacts of statins on new-onset osteoporosis in Taiwan. 

Statins, known as hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, have been widely used as cholesterol-lowering drugs and there is strong evidence for beneficial effects for patients at risks for cardiovascular diseases.

In addition to their well-known cholesterol-lowering properties and potential adverse effects, other advantageous pleiotropic effects of statins have been noticed. An interesting impact is their effect on bone metabolism.

For the study, the researchers enrolled 45,342 subjects aged between 50–90 years having received statin therapy (statin-users) since January 1, 2001, with 13 years of follow-up. 115,594 patients who had not received statin therapy (statin non-users) were taken as control.  Statin exposure was standardized using Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification system.

Key Findings:

  • In total 16,146 of all enrolled participants developed osteoporosis; including 3097 statin-users (6.83%) and 13,049 statin-non-users (11.29%).
  • After adjusting for cofounders (age, sex, and comorbidities) statin-users had significantly lower rate of new-onset osteoporosis vs statin non- users.
  • In statin users, risk for new-onset osteoporosis showed a declined trend with increased cumulative defined daily doses for 28-90, 91-365, and >365 days compared with non-users.
  • High-potency statins (rosuvastatin and atorvastatin) and moderate-potency statin (simvastatin) seemed to have a potential protective effect for osteoporosis.
  • No osteoprotective effects were observed in low-potency statins including lovastatin, pravastatin, and fluvastatin.

“In this population-based cohort study, we found that statin use is associated with a decreased risk of osteoporosis in both genders. The osteoprotective effect of statins seemed to be more prominent with a dependency on the cumulative dosage and statin intensity,” concluded the authors.

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Source: With inputs from PLOS ONE

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