Ann Conkle
Feb 24, 2012

Statins linked with lower depression risk in heart patients

Patients with heart disease who took cholesterol-lowering statins were less likely to develop depression than those who did not, in a study by Mary Whooley, a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Whooley and her team evaluated 965 heart disease patients for depression and found that the patients who were on statins were 38 percent less likely to develop depression than those who were not. As the study went on, the difference between the two groups became more pronounced, with the patients on statins becoming less likely to develop depression and the patients not on statins becoming more likely to become depressed over time. "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," Whooley said.

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