High doses of statins increase risk of osteoporosis

October 1, 2019  09:35

At low doses, statins may provide some protection against loss of bone mineral density. However, high doses of these drugs, on the contrary, contribute to the development of osteoporosis, scientists from Austria reported.

Statins are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. They are designed to lower the level of “bad” cholesterol, so they are believed to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

However, side effects and complications due to these drugs have been little studied. This gap was filled by researchers from the University of Austria.

Statins inhibit cholesterol synthesis by the liver; this lowers blood cholesterol, but cholesterol is critical for many processes in the body. For example, it is the main building material for the production of sex hormones such as estradiol and testosterone. It is well known that with a decrease in the concentration of hormones like estrogen during menopause, the risk of osteoporosis in women increases.

Scientists observed how different dosages of statins act on bone mineral density. It turned out that the higher the doses of statins, the higher the risk of developing osteoporosis. This connection was maintained even adjusted for factors such as age, overweight, and other medical problems; moreover, it was observed in men and women equally.

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