News of the WeekOSTEOPOROSIS

Cholesterol Drugs Show Promise as Bone Builders

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Science  30 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5475, pp. 2297-2298
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5475.2297a

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A group of drugs called statins that are used by millions to head off heart disease seem not only to prevent fractures, but they may also trigger significant bone regrowth, according to four studies reported in the 28 June issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association and the 24 June issue of The Lancet. And another promising treatment, a recombinant fragment of human parathyroid hormone called rhPTH, is even closer to the clinic: Two clinical trials reported at meetings in the past 2 weeks show that the compound builds bone and lowers the risk of fracture by more than half. These findings could be good news for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from osteoporosis.