Depression and Heart Failure - Another Reason to Exercise
It has long been known that depression occurs frequently in patients suffering from heart failure (HF). Recent trial data has shown that ~ 40% of patients with HF can be classified as having symptoms consistent with depression or severe depression. Patients with HF and depression symptoms more frequently have worse scores on quality of life symptoms (fatigue, lack of energy, listlessness ...). Do drugs for depression work? A recent trial showed that when sertraline (a classic SSRI anti-depression medication) or placebo was administered to patients, there was difference in symptoms or outcomes. What does work? A recent trial of HF patients showed that patients who were depressed had less exercise tolerance than the patients who were not depressed. However, when placed on an exercise program, patients depression status improved. Not only that, the more patients exercised, the better they felt. If you have HF and depression symptoms, please discuss this with you physician. Also try and use consistent exercise - the evidence tells us that it will not only make you feel better but also lead to better outcomes.