While the psychological side effects of drugs are often overlooked, they can present serious problems. Such is the case with statins, which pose a danger to those who take them as well as to the public at large. New research links them to aggression in women, a finding that adds to the data indicating they can have a negative influence on the mind, even causing suicidal impulses and homicidal behavior.
A study at the University of California on 1,000 people found the association between statins and aggression was particularly strong in postmenopausal women over the age of 45. Surprisingly, the women most likely to experience this effect were those who were normally calm. Only three of the men involved in the study showed a large increase in aggression. Most of the men experienced a reduction in aggression, which was likely due to the testosterone-lowering action of the drugs.
“The data reprise the finding that statins don’t affect all people equally — effects differ in men versus women, and younger versus older,” author Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb said in a statement. “Female sex and older age have predicted less favorable effects of statins on a number of other outcomes as well, including survival.” The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.