Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Heart Disease and Depression: Can Exercise Help?

The words “failure to diagnose” are often associated with cancer. This is for good reason, because the consequences of failing to catch cancer in time are frequently catastrophic.
Failure to diagnose cancer is not, however, the only type of failure to diagnose a serious condition that can result in serious injury or death. In particular, heart disease – and more specifically heart failure – are also life-threatening when not diagnosed properly in a timely manner.
A proper diagnosis includes being aware of other conditions the patient may have. In the case of heart disease, another common condition is depression. Recent research indicates that people who have both of these conditions may be able to benefit from regular exercise.
The lead researcher was James Blumenthal of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Heart failure is a major problem in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about six million people suffer from it around the country.
Depression also affects large numbers of people. It’s not only problematic in its own right; it also tends to tends to make other conditions, such as heart failure, worse.
The research study led by Blumenthal involved assigning people with heart failure to either a supervised home exercise program or to their accustomed treatment. Overall, depression scores tended to drop with exercise. This, in turn, made patients less likely to have worsening heart problems.
Blumenthal cautioned against reading too much into the research findings. “We don’t know if worsening depression is a cause of worsening heart failure or a consequence of worsening heart failure,” he said.
But clearly doctors need to aware of the potential benefits of moderate exercise for heart patients who are also depressed.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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