Atlanta – A study made by a group of researchers with the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute in Atlanta was published in a research letter on Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study claims it has found evidence that regular exercise could reduce the adverse cardiovascular consequences of depression.

In this study, researchers analyzed 965 different people who didn’t suffer from heart diseases and who had no prior diagnosis of an affective, psychotic or anxiety disorder illness. Volunteers were around 49 years old. About one-third of the participants were male, and 39 percent were black.


Researchers asked participants a number of questions about their levels of depression and physical activity, then, they measured any early indicators of heart disease, such as artery stiffening and inflammation.

They found that people who were inactive were the most likely to experience early indicators of heart disease, while people who exercised regularly have less possibilities of developing them.

“Our findings highlight the link between worsening depression and cardiovascular risk and support routinely assessing depression in patients to determine heart disease risk. This research also demonstrates the positive effects of exercise for all patients, including those with depressive symptoms,” Dr. Arshed Quyyumi, an author of the study and co-director of the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute in Atlanta, said in the press release.

Quyyumi added that there are many patients with heart disease who also experience depression and that the next step is to study if encouraging them to exercise would reduce their risk of adverse outcomes.

The study authors found that depressed people who weren’t physically active had firmer and more inflamed aortas, two signs of heart disease, but depressed people who exercised presented the opposite scenario.

Even though the study found associations between depression and artery function, which was improved in people who exercise regularly, Dr. Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who reviewed the study’s findings said that additional studies are needed before any concluding that exercise reduces heart disease risk in those with depression.

This is not the first study conducted to examine the link between exercise and depression. A prior research made in 2014 found that adults who exercised regularly had a lower rate of depressive symptoms. Other studies have found that exercise can improve mood, anxiety problems, and overall quality of mental health.

Source: JACC Journals