Impact of depression and aging on physical activity

How do depression and aging affect physical activity levels?

Important goals of primary care cardiovascular risk management (CVRM) include identifying physical inactivity levels and encouraging patients to adopt and/or maintain a physically active lifestyle.

Depressive symptomatology and aging may act as a barrier for patients to enhance their physical activity levels. This association was predominantly found in patients suffering from  cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention patients) and in female patients. Increasing physical activity levels are reported to decrease patients’ experienced depressive symptoms and decline mortality rates that are accompanied by aging.

In line with our expectations, we found an association between depressive symptoms and physical inactivity and that aging was associated with declining physical activity levels. However, these associations did neither differ between men and women, nor between patients at high cardiovascular risk without suffering from cardiovascular disease in history (primary prevention patients) and secondary prevention patients.


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