Myth of statin use, suicide risk link debunked

Studies have dispelled the notion that taking cholesterol medication — statins — has increased the risk of suicidal tendencies, Dr. Keith Roach notes. If anything, statins have proven moderately effective in treating drug-resistant depression.



January 11, 2023 - 2:02 PM

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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.

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