Older women taking statins may have an increased risk ofdeveloping osteoarthritis (OA). The researchers reported, however,that patients who already have the degenerative joint diseasedo not seem to be negatively affected by these drugs. Intheory, the researchers noted that statins can lower the risk ofOA because of their anti-inflammatory effects. Yet, their actualimpact on OA is unknown.
The study included 5674 women 65 years and older. Of theparticipants, 7% took statins. At the study's onset, OA—detectedby x-ray—was present in 936 hips in 745 women, while 9318hips had no indications of OA. After 8 years of follow-up, theresearchers found that statin use was linked with a 92%increased risk of OA of the hip. Yet, the use of statins was notrelated to other measures of new disease. The researchers alsowitnessed a consistent trend toward slower progression in thestatin group who had OA of the hip at the beginning of the study.(The findings were reported in the Journal of Rheumatology,January 2005.)