Study Shows No Increased Risk of Suicide

Published Online: Monday, March 1, 2004

New research has attempted to clarify earlier studies connecting older cholesterol- lowering drugs with an increased risk of suicide. The latest study, published recently in the , analyzed data on 94,441 adults in the United Kingdom, including 458 individuals diagnosed with depression and 105 participants who considered, attempted, or committed suicide. The results showed no increased risk for suicidal behavior among adults taking any type of cholesterol-lowering drugs, and depression was less common among the medication users.

For example, approximately 3% of the participants taking statins and 4% of those taking other cholesterol-lowering drugs were depressed, compared with 11% of nonusers of the drugs. Also, the link was strongest among long-term statin users. The researchers hypothesized that cholesterol-lowering drugs might indirectly improve well-being by lowering heart-related ailments and enhancing people?s quality of life. Furthermore, patients on cholesterol-lowering drugs could be more healthconscious and take better care of themselves, "which will further reduce their risk of developing depression," said the study authors.

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