heart running on a treadmill

Physically Fit Heart Attack Survivors Less Prone to Depression

Nutrition & Movement

This article has been archived. We will no longer be updating it. For our most up-to-date information, please visit our heart disease information here.

HealthDay News

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physically fit people may be less likely to become depressed after a heart attack, a new study suggests.

Heart attack survivors are three times more likely to have depression than people who haven't had a heart attack. But this study found that a history of regular exercise can reduce that risk.

"Physical activity protects people from depression after a heart attack," study author Linda Ernstsen, an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said in a university news release.

For the study, the researchers looked at 189 middle-aged and older people in Norway who had suffered a heart attack. On average, 11 percent of them suffered depression after their heart attack. But there were significant differences in risk depending on how much people had exercised before their heart attack, the investigators found.

Depression occurred in 17 percent of those who never exercised, 12.5 percent of those who once exercised but stopped before their heart attack, 9 percent of those who were inactive but began exercising before their heart attack, and 7.5 percent of those who were consistently physically active, the findings showed.

The researchers said that people who exercised regularly over several years were less than half as likely to become depressed after a heart attack than those who never exercised.

However, the study could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between regular exercise and depression risk after a heart attack.

The study was published recently in The American Journal of Medicine.

SOURCE: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, news release, Feb. 25, 2016

Copyright © 2015 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Obesity Is a Disease That Can Be Managed in Many Ways

Find out more about obesity and how it can be treated

Created With Support

Heart Disease: What Women Don’t Know

Heart disease is the leading killer of women in the U.S. Read on to find out what else you need to know about this dangerous disease.

Created With Support

by eMediHealth

☆☆☆☆☆ By eMediHealth ☆☆☆☆☆