Statins use and risk of depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ajay K. Parsaik, Balwinder Singh, M. Hassan Murad, Kuljit Singh, Soniya S. Mascarenhas, Mark D. Williams, Maria I. Lapid, Jarrett W. Richardson, Colin P. West, Teresa A. Rummans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Importance Statin use has been associated with depression; however studies of the association between statin use and depression have yielded mixed results. Objective To determine whether statin use is associated with depression and to evaluate the evidence supporting this association. Data sources Ovid MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus were searched through December 28, 2012. Study selection We included studies that evaluated exposure to statins, reported the development of depression, and relative risks or odds ratios (ORs) or provided data for their estimation. Two reviewers screened 981 abstracts independently using a standardized form, reviewed full text of 59 selected articles, and included 7 studies in this metaanalysis. Data extraction and synthesis Study design, statin exposure, development of depression, and study quality were extracted by 2 independent reviewers. A pooled OR with 95% confidence interval (CI) was estimated using the random-effects model and heterogeneity was assessed using Cochran's Q test and the I2 statistic. Results Seven observational studies (4 cohort, 2 nested case-control, and 1 cross-sectional) from 5 countries enrolling 9187 patients were included. Statin users were 32% less likely to develop depression than nonusers (adjusted OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.52-0.89). Modest heterogeneity was observed between the studies (I 2=55%, P=0.01), which could be accounted for by one study, exclusion of which removed the heterogeneity (P=0.40, I2=2%) and further strengthened the antidepressant effect of statin (adjusted OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.43-0.93). Heterogeneity could not be explained by study design or study population. The quality of supporting evidence was fair. Conclusions and relevance This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that statin use is associated with lower risk for depression. However, higher-quality studies are needed to confirm the magnitude of this association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Depression
  • Meta-analysis
  • Statins
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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