Physical activity can reduce depression and anxiety in people who suffer from the one of the most common – and serious – lung diseases.
More than 11 million Americans suffer from constructive obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is the third biggest disease killer in the country. Patients with COPD are also at a significantly higher risk of developing anxiety and depression, research shows.
Investigators from the Netherlands and Switzerland enrolled 409 patients with COPD and measured their level of physical activity. During the five-year follow-up, they also reported on any other ailments they developed in addition to COPD and completed mental health assessments.
The study’s results found that those COPD patients that were more active at the start of the study also had a reduced risk of 11 percent in terms of developing anxiety and a 15 percent reduced risk of becoming depressed.
"These findings have particular significance since mental disorders are common in patients with COPD. The prevalence of depression and anxiety is approximately 40 percent in COPD patients while the corresponding figure is less than 10 percent in the general population,” say the researchers of their study, which was presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in London.
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