Statin Users Less Likely to Suffer From Depression

Patients with coronary heart disease who use statins have a lower risk of depression

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with coronary heart disease, use of statins is associated with reduced risk of having or developing depression, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Christian Otte, M.D., from Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, and colleagues investigated the association between baseline statin use and subsequent depressive symptoms in 965 outpatients with coronary heart disease. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), depressive symptoms were measured annually for six years.

The researchers found that 65 percent of participants used statins. At baseline, statin users had significantly lower mean PHQ scores than nonusers. Compared with nonusers, statin users were significantly less likely to have depression at baseline and during follow-up (17 versus 24 percent [P = 0.02] and 28 versus 40 percent [P < 0.01], respectively). Statin use was associated with significantly reduced odds of developing depression during follow-up for the 776 participants without depressive symptoms at baseline (odds ratio [OR], 0.52); the association remained significant after adjusting for potential confounding variables (adjusted OR, 0.62).

"Statin use was associated with a decreased risk of subsequent depressive symptoms in patients with coronary heart disease. Whether use of statins prevents depressive symptoms deserves further study," the authors write.

One of the authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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