The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety

This study was published in Psychosomatic Medicine 1999 May-Jun;61(3):273-9
Study title and authors:
Relations of trait depression and anxiety to low lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in healthy young adult women.
Suarez EC.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.
This study can be accessed at:
The NEO depression scale measures the tendency of individuals to experience depressive affect or mood. Scores range from 0 to 32. High scores are indicative of individuals who are prone to feelings of guilt, sadness, hopelessness, and loneliness.

The trait anxiety subscale of the STPI measures an individual’s enduring tendencies to experience anxious moods and anxiety states. STPI anxiety scores range from 10 to 40, with high scores indicating higher anxiety.

This study investigated the association of cholesterol levels with depression and anxiety. The study included 121 healthy adult women between the ages of 18 and 27 years. Depression was assessed using the NEO depression scale and anxiety was measured by the trait anxiety subscale of the STPI. The women were put into two groups:
(i) Those with cholesterol levels under 4.14 mmol/L (160 mg/dL). (Low cholesterol group)
(ii) Those with cholesterol levels over 4.14 mmol/L (160 mg/dL). (Moderate to high cholesterol group).

The study found:
(a) The women in the low cholesterol group had a 170% increased risk of depression compared with the women in the moderate to high cholesterol group.
(b) The women in the low cholesterol group had a 141% increased risk of anxiety compared with the women in the moderate to high cholesterol group.

Suarez concluded: "Findings from the current study support the general hypothesis that naturally occurring low lipid and lipoprotein concentrations are associated with trait measures of depression and anxiety. These findings are potentially relevant in relation to observations of increased Non Illness Mortality in persons with spontaneously occurring low cholesterol levels as well as to observations of the increased frequency of depression and anxiety in women."

Links to other studies:
Suicide attempters have low cholesterol levels
Low cholesterol associated with depression in elderly men
Low cholesterol levels associated with fatigue and depression