Fracture risk is reduced by 60 percent in women using 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins), according to an osteoporosis study in southeastern Australia.
This substantial risk reduction is greater than might be anticipated from increases in bone mineral density (BMD) alone, says a team of researchers at the University of Melbourne's Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences-Barwon Health.
Their cross-sectional study of 1,375 women assessed the association between statin use, fracture risk and BMD. Of these subjects, all from the same community, 573 had incident fractures and 802 did not.
Fractures were identified by x-rays and questionnaires were used to record lifestyle factors and use of medication. Fracture associated with statin use was found to have an unadjusted odds ratio of 0.40 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.71).
When adjusted for BMD, the odds ratio at the femoral neck increased to 0.45 (95 percent CI, 0.25-0.80). Adjusting for BMD at the spine increased the odds ratio to 0.42 (95 percent CI, 0.24-0.75), and for the whole body to 0.43 (95 percent CI, 0.24-0.78).