Patients who are recovering from heart problems, but have depression take longer to return to their normal heart rate after taking a treadmill stress test, according to a new study published in the American Heart Journal.
Study co-author Dr. Joel W. Hughes, of Kent State University, Ohio, and colleagues said that patients who take longer to recover from the stress test have increased mortality risk. Heart rate recovery after a treadmill stress test is an important parameter that tells how the autonomic nervous system is functioning.
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating blood pressure, heart rate, airflow to the lungs, as well as the digestive process, insulin secretion, urinary function and sexual response. The researchers examined 260 patients entering phase II cardiac rehabilitation in the current study.
They concluded by saying that fitness programs might be beneficial to depressed cardiac patients.