Exercise May Ease Depression in Heart Failure Patients
The New York Times, 08/01/2012
Heart failure can take a heavy psychological toll, with many patients developing symptoms of depression. But a new study suggests that an exercise plan can ease the melancholy, creating improvements in mood that are comparable to the effects seen with medication. An estimated five million Americans are living with heart failure, with more than half a million new cases diagnosed each year. Patients often experience a drastic decline in their physical abilities, and with it a blow to their mental health. The researchers then randomly assigned patients to one of two groups. Those in the first group completed three supervised exercise sessions a week for three months, typically at a cardiac rehab center, followed by 120 minutes a week of home exercise for another nine months.