When it comes to heart disease and stroke, statins are remarkably effective drugs, and some observational studies have suggested that these lipid-lowering medications might even reduce the risk of bone fractures. But a secondary analysis of the JUPITER trial—a randomized study designed primarily to determine whether rosuvastatin (Crestor) had any effect on cardiovascular outcomes in people who were not candidates for statins—found that statin therapy did not reduce fracture risk. The study population included more than 17,800 men and women with a mean age of 66.
The JUPITER trial was halted after less than two years because of the significant cardiovascular benefits seen in the Crestor group. During that 1.9-year period, 221 imaging-confirmed fractures occurred in the Crestor group, while 210 fractures occurred in the placebo group, according to a paper published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. This fracture-focused secondary analysis was prespecified before the trial started, not run as an afterthought, which adds credibility to the findings.