The impact of statins on psychological wellbeing: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Adrienne O'Neil, Livia Sanna, Cassie Redlich, Kristy Sanderson, Felice N Jacka, Lana Williams, Julie Anne Pasco, Michael Berk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may be beneficial for treating depression and improving mood. However, evidence regarding their effects remains inconsistent, with some studies reporting links to mood disturbances. We aimed to conduct a metaanalysis to determine the impact of statins on psychological wellbeing of individuals with or without hypercholesterolemia. Methods: Articles were identified using medical, health, psychiatric and social science databases, evaluated for quality, and data were synthesized and analyzed in RevMan-5 software using a random effects model. Results: The 7 randomized controlled trials included in the analysis represented 2,105 participants. A test for overall effect demonstrated no statistically significant differences in psychological wellbeing between participants receiving statins or a placebo (standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.08, 95 CI -0.29 to 0.12; P = 0.42). Sensitivity analyses were conducted to separately analyze depression (n = 5) and mood (n = 2) outcomes; statins were associated with statistically significant improvements in mood scores (SMD = -0.43, 95 CI -0.61 to -0.24). Conclusions: Our findings refute evidence of negative effects of statins on psychological outcomes, providing some support for mood-related benefits. Future studies could examine the effects of statins in depressed populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume10
Issue numberArt. ID: 154
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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