Exercise Helps Ease Depression in Heart Failure Patients

A new study has discovered that exercise could prove to be beneficial to people who have had heart failure and are also depressed. Researchers suggests that those who exercise for an hour and a half to two hours each week had a slightly lower depression score, which resulted in a reduced risk of re-hospitalisation and death related to heart complaints. People who have cardiac disease commonly suffer from depression, so this study could prove to be beneficial to those with the disease and mental health condition. However, researchers stated that at present the effect of exercise is only modest – further studies would need to take place to see if there are any ways of improving this or garnering a more effective response from the regime. Nearly six million people in the US alone have heart failure, with those figures rising exponentially when the rest of the world is factored in. Up to 40 percent of these people also struggle with depression.

Exercise offers numerous benefits for our health, namely that it improves our circulation, reduces the risk of heart problems, stroke and obesity-related diseases, and it improves our mood – previous studies have shown that those who exercise regularly see an improvement in their overall wellbeing. It can help to lower stress and ease anxiety, both of which are known to be aggravators for heart strain. The study was carried out over a four year period and involved 2322 stable heart failure patients. The patients took part in three thirty-minute workout sessions for three months, and then were given a treadmill or stationary bike to continue their workouts at home for a further nine months. Around 28 percent of these people were clinically depressed at the start of the study, but this tended to drop with exercise.

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