Depression is a common co-morbidity in Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) with a high aggregated prevalence in men and in women. The presence of depression has been associated with poor quality of life, increased morbidity, rate of hospitalizations and mortality in CHF population. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological options include psychotherapeutic interventions, complementary and alternative medicine, and general psychosocial as well as exercise training interventions, in order to treat depression in CHF. However, the optimal treatment approach for depression in daily clinical practice for CHF patients remains under investigation. Exercise training has been shown to be beneficial in terms of increasing functional capacity, improving quality of life, and reducing cardiovascular mortality in CHF patients, while there is growing evidence that it can also decrease levels of depression. Exercise besides several positive effects reduces stress, restores circadian rhythm and autonomic nervous system imbalance, improves self-esteem, mental wellness and increases sense of euphoria, all possible contributing factors that may explain anti depressive beneficial effects in CHF.
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Last date updated on June, 2014