Statins associated with decreased risk of depressive symptoms

Formulary , 05/22/2012

The findings raise the possibility that statins may prevent depressive symptoms in patients with cardiovascular disease, the authors stated; however, the potential mechanisms by which they exert effects are unclear and should be the subject of further study. In addition, the authors stress that the data do not demonstrate causality.


  • To evaluate the potential association between statins and depressive symptoms, the authors measured depressive symptoms annually for 6 years in 965 outpatients with stable coronary heart disease from 12 outpatient clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • A 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) was used to measure depressive symptoms.


  • Of the 965 patients, the authors noted that 629 used statins and were found to have lower mean ± SE PHQ depression scores than nonusers (4.8 ± 0.2 vs 5.9 ± 0.3, P<.01).
  • They also were less likely than nonusers to have depression (PHQ score ≥10) at baseline (17% vs 24%; P= 02) and during follow-up (28% vs 40%; P<.01).

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