DEAR DR. ROACH: I have read that there is a correlation between the use of statins and suicide in men over 60, especially if they have suffered chronic depression. Can you tell me if this has been studied more? — K.M.
ANSWER: This concern has been studied extensively.
An older class of cholesterol medication, the fibrates, was associated with a small increased risk of suicide and violent deaths in several large studies. However, a very large study published in 2020 showed no increase in risk of death by suicide among those taking statin drugs. In fact, that study, as well as several others, have shown a decrease in depression risk among statin users. Statins have even been found to be (modestly) effective in treatment of drug-resistant depression.