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Aerobic Exercise Can Reduce Depression in Heart Failure Patients

Posted Oct 15 2012 9:00am


Depression is common in patients with cardiac disease, especially in patients with heart failure. Up to 75% of individuals suffering from congestive heart failure develop depression. A new study suggests that aerobic exercise may reduce depressive symptoms.

A trial involved 2322 patients treated for heart failure at 82 medical clinical centers in the United States, Canada, and France. 

Supervised aerobic exercise and home exercise was assigned to a segment of participants. Participants primarily used treadmills and stationary bikes, according to the study.
789 patients (68%) died or were hospitalized in the usual care group compared with 759 (66%) in the aerobic exercise group. Compared with guideline-based care, exercise training resulted in a modest reduction in depressive symptoms, although the clinical significance of this improvement is unknown.
“It's something that most patients can engage in. It results in improved cardio-respiratory fitness, they have more stamina, and now we see that not only do they derive these physical benefits, but they also derive psychological benefits as well.” Duke lead investigator, James A. Blumenthal, Ph.D., told the New York Times.
It seems like an obvious study. It has been proven time and again that aerobic exercise releases chemicals in our body that boost our mood and attitude. It seems to always boil down to basics doesn't it. Get exercise. And you also in the process likely decrease your chance for cardiac problems to begin with!
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