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Statins don’t prevent fractures: review

Reuters Health • The Doctor's Channel Daily Newscast

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Statins do not reduce fracture risk or increase bone mineralization in postmenopausal women, according to a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

In vitro data, animal research, and some observational human studies have suggested that statins have beneficial effects on bone formation, Dr. Birong Dong and co-authors say in the May 13th online issue of Menopause. But there is disagreement among the clinical studies, which the authors attribute to such confounding factors as healthy users, other medications, and obesity. Also, they say, until now there has been no review restricted to RCTs.

The research team at Sichuan University, China, conducted a literature search and identified six RCTs published between 2001 and 2004 that involved 3022 postmenopausal women.

Four trials (lasting from 2 to 12 months) reported bone turnover markers, two lasting for a year reported bone mineral density (BMD), and two with at least 5 years of follow up reported fractures. Two trials studied atorvastatin. Fluvastatin, simvastatin, lovastatin and pravastatin were each studied in a single trial.