Simvastin Has No Effect On Bone Formation or Resorption in Osteopenia

Treatment of osteopenic women with simvastatin over a period of 12 weeks has no effect on markers of bone formation or resorption.

It has been found that new bone formation has been increased by hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors in vitro and in rodents. However, to date, results of epidemiologic analyses evaluating the link between use of these cholesterol-lowering drugs, bone mineral density and fracture have been mixed.

Twenty-four women with osteopenia, assessed by broad band ultrasound attentuation, participated in this study undertaken by Judith Hsia and colleagues from the George Washington University in the United States.

The women were randomly assigned to receive the simvastatin in doses of either 20 mg or 40 mg or identical-appearing placebo and for a period of 12 weeks.

At baseline, and again at six and 12 weeks, the researchers measured fasting lipid profiles and biochemical markers of bone formation (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase) and resorption (N-telopeptides and C-terminal propeptide of type 1 collagen).

After 12 weeks of treatment, the study found plasma low density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentration fell 7 percent for women on placebo, 39 percent for those on 20 mg simvastatin and 47 percent for those on 40 mg simvastatin.

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