Depressive symptoms, physical inactivity and cardiovascular disease

Depression and physical inactivity, two sides of the same coin?

The relationship between depressive symptoms and CVD risk may be the consequence of a more sedentary lifestyle of depressed persons. Thus, physical inactivity may be the intermediate factor in the relation between depressive symptoms and CVD. The independent and combined effects of depressive symptoms and physical activity on CVD mortality were investigated prospectively in elderly men from the FINE study cohorts of Finland, the Netherlands and Italy.

Physical inactivity and depression both related to cardiovascular risk.

A 30 min/d lower level of physical activity at entry was associated with a 9% excess CVD mortality after 10 years. A one-standard-deviation greater score for depressive symptoms was related to a 37% higher CVD mortality, after adjustment for physical activity. The excess risk of CVD mortality attributable to the combined effect of depressive symptoms with inactivity was 47%. The greater risk of CVD due to depressive symptoms cannot be explained by physical inactivity. However, depressive symptoms and physical inactivity may interact to increase CVD risk.

More about healthy aging

From 1984 onwards, additional studies started to examine indicators of healthy ageing in the elderly populations of in the SCS and related studies.


Physical activity and disability

The results suggest that even in old age among relatively healthy men, a physically active lifestyle was inversely related to disability.

Smoking and cardiovascular disease

An analysis using data from Seven Countries Study showed that CHD mortality was 5% higher in men who smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day compared to those who never smoked.

More about the relationship between lifestyle and CVD