| NEW YORK
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - When administered at doses that
lower lipid levels, atorvastatin, sold in the U.S. under the
trade name Lipitor, appears to have no effect on bone mineral
density or bone metabolism in postmenopausal women, according
The results of previous laboratory and clinical studies
have suggested the commonly prescribed class of
cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins "may have very
favorable effects on the skeleton," senior investigator Dr.
Michael R. McClung told Reuters Health. "This study
demonstrates clearly that statins do not have effects on bone
in the clinical setting."
McClung, of the Oregon Osteoporosis Center, Portland, and
colleagues studied 626 postmenopausal women with high levels of
LDL cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol. The women were randomly
assigned to treatment with one of four doses of atorvastatin
daily or to placebo (sugar pill), the researchers report in the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
At 52 weeks, all of the active treatment groups showed
significant reductions in LDL cholesterol compared with levels
at the beginning of the study and compared with placebo. The
treatment was also well tolerated.
However, the researchers found no evidence that
atorvastatin treatment had any significant effects on bone mass
or markers of bone mass.
Co-author Dr. Henry G. Bone of the Michigan Bone and
Mineral Clinic, Detroit, told Reuters Health that "our study
pretty well eliminates the likelihood that conventional therapy
with such agents would have a clinically significant beneficial
or harmful effect on bone metabolism."
SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,