Patients with newly diagnosed stroke who are treated with statins have a lower risk for osteoporosis and fracture, according to study data published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Patients with newly diagnosed stroke who were registered in Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database were enrolled in the retrospective study (N=5254). The investigators subdivided the cohort into patients treated with statins (n=2627) vs those not treated with statins (n=2627).

Patients in the treatment group were prescribed statin therapy <6 months following the index date. The primary outcome of the analysis was any new osteoporosis, hip fracture, or vertebral fracture diagnosis.

During the mean 4.2-year follow-up period, patients with stroke who were treated with statins had a significantly lower overall risk for the primary outcome compared with the nonstatin cohort (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.66; P <.001). In the subanalyses, which focused on identifying dose-effect relationships, the researchers found that statin use correlated with a significant reduction in the risk for each individual outcome: osteoporosis (aHR 0.68; P <.001), hip fracture (aHR 0.59; P <.001), and vertebral fracture (aHR 0.73; P =.003).

The inclusion of only Taiwanese patients, missing data on lifestyle patterns, and lack of data on the contributing causes of fractures represent the study’s primary limitations.

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The study’s findings of an association between statin therapy and a reduction in bone fracture and osteoporosis risk may offer substantial public health implications given “the high incidence and prevalence of stroke, osteoporosis, and bone fractures” in the general population.

Reference

Lin SM, Wang JH, Liang CC, Huang HK. Statin use is associated with decreased osteoporosis and fracture risks in stroke patients [published online July 2, 2018]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-00652