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Statins can cut bone risk in men

Statin drugs used to lower cholesterol levels also cut the risk of bone fractures in adults, a study said.
/ Source: Reuters

Statin drugs used to lower cholesterol levels also cut the risk of bone fractures in adults, a study said Monday.

In a 2-1/2-year survey of 83,000 mostly male U.S. military veterans, the 28,000 who took statin drugs had roughly a one-third lower risk of fracturing bones compared to those not taking statins or those taking other types of cholesterol-lowering drugs, the report said.

The finding backed up previous research that showed statins lowered bone fracture risk in women, who as they grow older are more susceptible than men to developing brittle bones, the report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine said.

Since more men than women take statins, it was important to find out that men also got the bone benefit, wrote study author Dr. Richard Scranton of the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center in Boston.

Statins lower cholesterol naturally produced by the liver, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Among the theories explaining how statins strengthen bones is that the drugs reduce inflammation, allowing small blood vessels to function better and promote new bone growth, the report said.

Statins are the world’s most popular class of prescription drugs, and Atorvastatin, sold by Pfizer Inc.under the brand name Lipitor, is the biggest seller at $11.1 billion in sales in the year ended in July.