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Could Exercise Shut Down Heart Effects of Depression?

Summary: What kinds of physical activity may help ease depression and cardiovascular risk?
Air Date: 2/12/16
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Arshed Quyyumi, MD
Arshed QuyyumiDr. Arshed Quyyumi is currently a tenured Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine and Co-Director at Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute.  He is Board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Medicine.  

He graduated from Guy’s Hospital medical school in London, England, and after accomplishing part of his medicine and cardiology training in London, he completed his fellowship training at Massachusetts general Hospital, Harvard University in Boston and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland.  He was a Senior Investigator and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the Cardiology Branch of the National Institutes of Health for several years before arriving at Emory. He is currently co-director of the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute at Emory University in Atlanta.  

His research focus over the last 30 years has focused on clinical and translational research in vascular biology, stem cells and angiogenesis, biomarkers for evaluating cardiovascular risk including proteomics, metabolomics and genomics.  He has performed seminal studies investigating mechanisms of myocardial ischemia including silent ischemia in the past. His current studies include comprehensive assessment of vascular endothelial function and arterial stiffness and thickness in patients with arteriosclerosis and its risk factors.  Other studies investigate the role of genetic and environmental risks on vascular disease, and particularly in relation to health disparities.  He is also conducting clinical trials with bone marrow derived stem cells and progenitors in cardiovascular disease.  He has published over 300 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

Could Exercise Shut Down Heart Effects of Depression?
Early markers of heart disease can be worse when you're depressed.

An observational study recently showed that the association between heart disease and depression can be lessened or eliminated with regular physical activity.

Those associations were consistent when adjusting for a number of variables, including weight, age, and some cardiovascular risk factors.

What kinds of physical activity may help ease depression and cardiovascular risk?

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans describes the major research findings on the health benefits of physical activity:
  • Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes.
  • Some physical activity is better than none.
  • For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration.
  • Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity.
  • Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.
  • Health benefits occur for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group.
  • The health benefits of physical activity occur for people with disabilities.
  • The benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes.
Listen in as Dr. Arshed Quyyumi shares how exercise is good for your head and good for your heart.