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Keywords:

  • statin;
  • depression;
  • mood;
  • elderly;
  • ageing

Abstract

PURPOSE

The association between statin use and depression is complex, and research findings have been mixed. The present study aimed to investigate the association of statin use with depressive symptoms among community-living older persons, and its effect modifications by gender and medical co-morbidity.

METHOD

Prospective observational study of 1803 participants aged 55 and above in the Singapore Longitudinal Ageing Studies cohort, with data of statin use and other risk factors for depression at baseline, and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) symptom scores at follow-up (1.5 years).

RESULTS

Controlling for baseline demographics, cholesterol level and medical co-morbidities, statin use was not associated with depressive symptom scores in the whole sample overall (regression coefficient = −0.12 (SE 0.10), F[1,1782] = 1.44, p = 0.23). Post hoc analyses suggested that statin use may be associated with fewer depressive symptoms in women (p = 0.02), and more depressive symptoms in men, particularly those with more medical co-morbidities (p = 0.04) and multiple drug use (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION

This study provided no strong evidence that support an overall association of statin use and depressive symptoms. The post hoc findings in this study are suggestive but may also be spurious and should be replicated in other studies. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.