Major depression is associated with premature mortality, largely explained by heightened cardiovascular burden. This narrative review summarizes secondary literature (i.e., reviews and meta-analyses) on this topic, considering physical exercise as a potential tool to counteract this alarming phenomenon. Compared to healthy controls, individuals with depression consistently present heightened cardiovascular risk, including “classical” risk factors and dysregulation of pertinent homeostatic systems (immune system, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system). Ultimately, both genetic background and behavioral abnormalities contribute to explain the link between depression and cardiovascular mortality. Physical inactivity is particularly common in depressed populations and may represent an elective therapeutic target to address premature mortality. Exercise-based interventions, in fact, have proven effective reducing cardiovascular risk and mortality through different mechanisms, although evidence still needs to be replicated in depressed populations. Notably, exercise also directly improves depressive symptoms. Despite its potential, however, exercise remains under-prescribed to depressed individuals. Public health may be the ideal setting to develop and disseminate initiatives that promote the prescription and delivery of exercise-based interventions, with a particular focus on their cost-effectiveness.

Physical activity promotes health and reduces cardiovascular mortality in depressed populations: A literature overview

Belvederi Murri M.
Primo
;
Folesani F.
Secondo
;
Zerbinati L.;Nanni M. G.;Ounalli H.;Caruso R.
Penultimo
;
Grassi L.
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

Major depression is associated with premature mortality, largely explained by heightened cardiovascular burden. This narrative review summarizes secondary literature (i.e., reviews and meta-analyses) on this topic, considering physical exercise as a potential tool to counteract this alarming phenomenon. Compared to healthy controls, individuals with depression consistently present heightened cardiovascular risk, including “classical” risk factors and dysregulation of pertinent homeostatic systems (immune system, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system). Ultimately, both genetic background and behavioral abnormalities contribute to explain the link between depression and cardiovascular mortality. Physical inactivity is particularly common in depressed populations and may represent an elective therapeutic target to address premature mortality. Exercise-based interventions, in fact, have proven effective reducing cardiovascular risk and mortality through different mechanisms, although evidence still needs to be replicated in depressed populations. Notably, exercise also directly improves depressive symptoms. Despite its potential, however, exercise remains under-prescribed to depressed individuals. Public health may be the ideal setting to develop and disseminate initiatives that promote the prescription and delivery of exercise-based interventions, with a particular focus on their cost-effectiveness.
2020
Belvederi Murri, M.; Folesani, F.; Zerbinati, L.; Nanni, M. G.; Ounalli, H.; Caruso, R.; Grassi, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2475925
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