Statins are associated with a reduced risk of bone fracture in hemodialysis (HD) patients


R. M. Holden, 3048C Etherington Hall, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 2V6.


The Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study reported a statistically non-significant protective effect of HMG-co reductase inhibitors (statins) on bone fracture risk in hemodialysis (HD) patients. We sought to determine whether statin exposure was associated with reduced risk of bone fracture in our HD population. This was a retrospective cohort study of 174 prevalent HD patients. Fracture data are abstracted from the medical record. Subjects were considered to be on a statin if they were exposed at any time since the date of dialysis initiation. The subjects were 174 HD patients (68.4% male) with a median age of 69.1 and age range from 25.2 to 96.3 years. The median age at initiation of HD was 62.5, ranging from 15.2 to 90.5 years. The mean (SD) dialysis vintage was 7.3 (4.5) years. Seventy-seven subjects (44.3%) had statin exposure. There were a total of 54 first bone fractures. There was a positive correlation between bone fracture and dialysis vintage (p=0.023) and a negative association between bone fracture and statin exposure (p=0.044). Those with statin exposure had a higher prevalence of CAD (p=0.030) compared with those not exposed. Logistic regression analysis (stepwise, α=0.05) was performed with dependent variable bone fracture and independent variables age at HD initiation (forced), dialysis vintage, gender (forced), prednisone use (forced), and statin exposure. The significant predictors of bone fracture (R2=0.14, p=0.004) were age at HD initiation (p=0.016), dialysis vintage (p=0.007), and absence of statin exposure (p=0.019). Statin exposure appears to be associated with a reduced frequency of bone fracture in HD patients. Future studies evaluating the potential anabolic effect of statins on bone are required.