• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of bmjBMJ helping doctors make better decisionsSearch bmj.comLatest content
BMJ. Jul 13, 1996; 313(7049): 75–78.
PMCID: PMC2351518

Randomised placebo controlled trial of effect on mood of lowering cholesterol concentration. Oxford Cholesterol Study Group.


OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the effects on mood of a substantial and prolonged reduction in total cholesterol concentration. DESIGN--Randomised placebo controlled comparison of patients who had been allocated to receive simvastatin 20 mg or 40 mg daily versus those allocated matching placebo in a ratio of 2:1. Follow up at an average of 152 weeks after randomisation. SUBJECTS--Men and women aged between 40 and 75 years at entry with blood total cholesterol of 3.5 mmol/l or greater, who were considered to be at higher than average risk of coronary heart disease based on medical history. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--The shortened profile of mood states questionnaire, reported use of psychotropic medication, and symptoms possibly related to mood. RESULTS--Simvastatin reduced total cholesterol by 1.9 mmol/l (26.7%) at the time of follow up. Among all 621 patients randomised to simvastatin (414 patients) or placebo (207 patients) there were no significant differences in the use of psychotropic medication or in reports of symptoms possibly related to mood. Of these patients, 491 (334 simvastatin, 157 placebo) completed the mood questionnaire, and there were no significant differences between the treatment groups in total or subscale scores, even when patients with low baseline cholesterol concentrations or elderly subjects were considered separately. CONCLUSION--These results do not support the hypothesis that treatment to lower cholesterol concentration causes mood disturbance.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (840K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Neaton JD, Blackburn H, Jacobs D, Kuller L, Lee DJ, Sherwin R, Shih J, Stamler J, Wentworth D. Serum cholesterol level and mortality findings for men screened in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial Research Group. Arch Intern Med. 1992 Jul;152(7):1490–1500. [PubMed]
  • Jacobs D, Blackburn H, Higgins M, Reed D, Iso H, McMillan G, Neaton J, Nelson J, Potter J, Rifkind B, et al. Report of the Conference on Low Blood Cholesterol: Mortality Associations. Circulation. 1992 Sep;86(3):1046–1060. [PubMed]
  • Lindberg G, Råstam L, Gullberg B, Eklund GA. Low serum cholesterol concentration and short term mortality from injuries in men and women. BMJ. 1992 Aug 1;305(6848):277–279. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Muldoon MF, Manuck SB, Matthews KA. Lowering cholesterol concentrations and mortality: a quantitative review of primary prevention trials. BMJ. 1990 Aug 11;301(6747):309–314. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Engelberg H. Low serum cholesterol and suicide. Lancet. 1992 Mar 21;339(8795):727–729. [PubMed]
  • Morgan RE, Palinkas LA, Barrett-Connor EL, Wingard DL. Plasma cholesterol and depressive symptoms in older men. Lancet. 1993 Jan 9;341(8837):75–79. [PubMed]
  • Dealberto MJ, Ducimetiere P, Mainard F, Alperovitch A. Serum lipids and depression. Lancet. 1993 Feb 13;341(8842):435–435. [PubMed]
  • Brown SL, Salive ME, Harris TB, Simonsick EM, Guralnik JM, Kohout FJ. Low cholesterol concentrations and severe depressive symptoms in elderly people. BMJ. 1994 May 21;308(6940):1328–1332. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Strandberg TE, Valvanne J, Tilvis RS. Serum lipids and depression. Lancet. 1993 Feb 13;341(8842):433–434. [PubMed]
  • Freedman DS, Byers T, Barrett DH, Stroup NE, Eaker E, Monroe-Blum H. Plasma lipid levels and psychologic characteristics in men. Am J Epidemiol. 1995 Mar 15;141(6):507–517. [PubMed]
  • Brunner E, Smith GD, Pilgrim J, Marmot M. Low serum cholesterol and suicide. Lancet. 1992 Apr 18;339(8799):1001–1002. [PubMed]
  • Iribarren C, Reed DM, Chen R, Yano K, Dwyer JH. Low serum cholesterol and mortality. Which is the cause and which is the effect? Circulation. 1995 Nov 1;92(9):2396–2403. [PubMed]
  • Kaplan JR, Manuck SB, Shively C. The effects of fat and cholesterol on social behavior in monkeys. Psychosom Med. 1991 Nov-Dec;53(6):634–642. [PubMed]
  • Weidner G, Connor SL, Hollis JF, Connor WE. Improvements in hostility and depression in relation to dietary change and cholesterol lowering. The Family Heart Study. Ann Intern Med. 1992 Nov 15;117(10):820–823. [PubMed]
  • Grundy SM. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors for treatment of hypercholesterolemia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Jul 7;319(1):24–33. [PubMed]
  • Downs JR, Oster G, Santanello NC. HMG CoA reductase inhibitors and quality of life. JAMA. 1993 Jun 23;269(24):3107–3108. [PubMed]
  • Keech A, Collins R, MacMahon S, Armitage J, Lawson A, Wallendszus K, Fatemian M, Kearney E, Lyon V, Mindell J, et al. Three-year follow-up of the Oxford Cholesterol Study: assessment of the efficacy and safety of simvastatin in preparation for a large mortality study. Eur Heart J. 1994 Feb;15(2):255–269. [PubMed]
  • Steptoe A, Edwards S, Moses J, Mathews A. The effects of exercise training on mood and perceived coping ability in anxious adults from the general population. J Psychosom Res. 1989;33(5):537–547. [PubMed]

Articles from BMJ : British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Compound
    PubChem Compound links
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...