Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Statin users 'less likely to develop depression'

  • Comment

Heart disease patients who use statins to lower cholesterol could also be developing a resistance to depression, a US-based study has claimed.

A University of California team which studied 965 people being treated for heart disease found that those who were on a course of statins were less likely to be clinically depressed than those who were not.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the research identified 776 patients from the original test group who were not classed as depressed and followed them for a six-year period - 520 were using statins and 256 were not.

Lead researcher Dr Mary Whooley, professor of medicine at the university, reported that 18.5% of those using statins went on to become depressed compared to more than a quarter (28%) of those not taking the drugs, making statin users 38% less likely to become depressed.

As the research progressed the difference between the two groups became more pronounced, according to Dr Whooley, who is also a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Centre. She said that patients taking statins became less likely to develop depression while those not taking the treatment experienced a greater chance of developing the condition.

“This would suggest that statins may have some kind of long-term protective effect against depression, perhaps by helping to prevent atherosclerosis in the brain, which can contribute to depressive symptoms,” she said.

Otte C, et al. Statin Use and Risk of Depression in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease: Longitudinal Data From the Heart and Soul Study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2012; Advance online subscription



  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.