|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
Statins Reduce Fracture Risk in Men
Research on statins continues to reveal new uses for these relatively safe and powerful drugs. While their effect on reducing heart disease has been well documented, scientists continue to discover unexpected benefits from these medicines—so much so that some observers have been led to wonder, “should we put statins in the drinking water?”
In this study, researchers analyze the available evidence on statins effect on fractures in elderly men, and report that the drugs may be responsible for a 36% reduction in fracture risk. The researchers call for further studies to validate these potentially important findings.
A large study comprised mostly of elderly men supports the theory that statin drugs reduce the risk of fracture. Previous research investigating the link between statins and fracture risk, conducted primarily among women, has yielded mixed results.
The current study, reported in the September 26th Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. Richard E. Scranton and his colleagues, represents one of the largest studies to date, and includes approximately 95% men. The roughly 91,000 subjects were drawn from patients receiving care in the New England VA Health System between 1998 and 2001. Included were 28,063 patients prescribed statins, 2195 prescribed nonstatin lipid-lowering medications, and 60,794 not prescribed any lipid-lowering medications.
In analyses that adjusted for age, BMI [body mass index], osteoporosis and other comorbidities, and other medications, the authors found that the use of statins was associated with a 36% reduction in fracture risk compared with subjects taking no lipid-lowering therapy, and a 32% risk reduction compared with nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy.
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