Associations between serum cholesterol levels or lipid-lowering treatment and depression risk have been controversial. Associations between statin use and depression risk have been investigated in patients with coronary artery diseases but have not been examined after stroke. This study aimed to investigate whether statin use was associated with depression ascertained at 2 weeks and 1 year after stroke.
A total of 423 patients were evaluated 2 weeks after stroke, and 288 (68%) were followed 1 year later. At the 2 examinations, depression (major or minor depressive disorder) was diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria, and depression severity was assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression subscale and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Logistic regression and repeated-measures analyses of variance were carried out.
Statins were used in 251 (59%) of 423 patients at baseline. Statin use was not associated with poststroke depression (PSD) status at baseline but was significantly associated with reduced risk of all PSD, and of major PSD specifically, at follow-up. Statin use was also associated with better trajectories of depression assessment scale scores over the 1-year follow-up. Statin use was associated with a reduced risk of depression at 1 year after stroke. Likely causality and underlying mechanisms need to be further clarified.
Source: J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014 Feb;34(1):72-9. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000000051.