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J Bone Miner Metab. 2014 Mar;32(2):184-91. doi: 10.1007/s00774-013-0481-6. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Bone mineral density in statin users: a population-based analysis from a Spanish cohort.

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  • 1Bone Metabolic Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, University of Cantabria, IFIMAV, Red temática de investigación cooperativa en envejecimiento y fragilidad (RETICEF), Cantabria, Spain,


We studied 2,315 subjects (1,422 women and 893 men) from the Camargo Cohort and analyzed the differences in BMD between statin or non-statin users. We also studied effects of the type of statin, dose, pharmacokinetic properties, and length of treatment on bone mineral density (BMD). Of the subjects, 478 (21 %) were taking statins (256 women and 222 men). Overall, they had higher BMD than non-users (p < 0.0001). In adjusted multivariate models, women taking statins had higher BMD at femoral neck (p = 0.002) and total hip (p = 0.04) than non- users. No differences were found in men. Women taking simvastatin had higher increases in BMD than non-statin users at femoral neck (p = 0.02) and total hip (p = 0.009), those taking fluvastatin had lower BMD values at lumbar spine (p = 0.028), and those receiving lovastatin had higher increases at femoral neck (p = 0.006). In men, only atorvastatin was associated with higher femoral neck BMD than non-statin use (p = 0.029). Comparing with non-statin users, only women receiving lipophilic statins had greater BMD at femoral neck (p = 0.003). According to drug potency, women on high- or lower-potency agents showed higher BMD values at femoral neck than non-users (p = 0.028 and 0.022, respectively). In men, only high-potency statins were associated with higher femoral neck BMD than non-use (p = 0.021). No differences between dose or length of statin therapy were noted regarding BMD in either sex. In summary, in a large population-based cohort, women on statins had higher BMD at the hip than non-users. Overall, this increase in BMD was more evident in subjects on lipophilic or high-potency statins.

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