High-dose statins linked to increased risk of osteoporosis


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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At low doses, statins could protect against bone resorption, while higher doses are linked with a greater risk of osteoporosis, according to a research published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

For the study, researchers in Austria investigated the relationship between various types and dosages of statins with osteoporosis using big data. Medical claims data of all Austrians from 2006 to 2007 were used to identify all patients treated with statins and to calculate their daily-defined dose averages of different types of statin. Individuals with osteoporosis diagnoses were also identified. 

Overall, 353,502 statin-treated patients were identified, of which 11,701 were diagnosed with osteoporosis. The control group consisted of 7,543,947 patients. 

The study found statin treatment was associated with an over-representation of diagnosed osteoporosis compared with controls (odds ratio [OR] 3.62; 95% CI 3.55-3.69; P<.01 with osteoporosis under-represented low-dose statin treatment over-represented high-dose statins.>

The authors said further research is needed to better clarify the relationship between statins and osteoporosis. They proposed however that monitoring patients on high-dosage statin therapy “might be useful in order to offer an individual therapy to prevent or treat osteoporosis."