Statins associated with decreased risk of depressive symptoms

Formulary , 05/29/2012

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.

Methods

  • 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.

Results

  • 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).

Print Article Summary