Statins are commonly-used drugs to lower cholesterol. Some studies have found that these drugs may also have a positive effect on bones. According to a recent study, the effect may depend on the dose. The study, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
(September 2019), examined the relationship between statins and the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. Researchers analyzed health data on 353,502 people who took statins, 11,701 of whom were diagnosed with osteoporosis. They were compared with over 7 million people who did not take statins. Overall, those who took statins were more likely than nonusers to have osteoporosis. However, the effect depended on the dose. Those who took a low statin dose of 10 milligrams (mg) a day actually had up to a 60% reduced risk of osteoporosis. Taking 40 mg or more of simvastatin or 20 mg or more of atorvastatin or rosuvastatin increased risk.