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A. Popular Cholesterol Lowering Drugs May Prevent Fractures

Narrator: This is Science Today. New research suggests that people who take popular cholesterol-lowering medications called statins, have a significant reduction in osteoporosis-related fractures. Dr. Douglas Bauer, who led the University of California, San Francisco study, conducted a meta analysis, or summary of eight studies, looking into the relationship between statins and fractures.

Bauer: One of the strengths of the meta analysis is, is that we combined studies from a variety of different populations. In fact, the vast majority of the study suggested there was a protective effect of statin use specifically on hip fracture - and it was about a sixty-seven percent reduction among the statin users compared to individuals in those studies who weren't using statins.

Narrator: These are preliminary findings but Bauer says there's reason to be optimistic that these findings may lead to new treatments for osteoporosis.

Bauer:One of the nice things about statins is that they appear to be very well tolerated and they're very safe. And if a clinician could prescribe a medication that would be useful for not one, but two very, very common conditions in older individuals, then in fact that's a nice thing to reduce cost and avoid side effects.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.