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Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Jun;20(3):399-408. doi: 10.1177/2047487312438184. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Physical activity after myocardial infarction: is it related to mental health?

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Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Leiden, the Netherlands.



Physical inactivity and poor mental wellbeing are associated with poorer prognoses in patients with cardiovascular disease. We aimed to analyse the cross-sectional and prospective associations between physical activity and mental wellbeing in patients with a history of myocardial infarction.


Longitudinal, observational study.


We investigated 600 older subjects with a history of myocardial infarction (age range 60-80 years) who participated in the Alpha Omega Trial (AOT). They were tested twice at baseline and at 40 months follow-up for physical activity - with the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE); depressive symptoms - with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15); and dispositional optimism - with the Life Orientation Test (LOT-R). Linear (multilevel) and logistic regression analyses were used to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations.


Physical activity was cross-sectionally associated with depressive symptoms (adjusted beta = -0.143; p = 0.001), but not with dispositional optimism (adjusted beta = 0.074; p = 0.07). We found a synchrony of change between physical activity and depressive symptoms (adjusted beta = -0.155; p < 0.001), but not with dispositional optimism (adjusted beta = 0.049; p = 0.24). Baseline physical activity did not predict depressive symptoms at 40 months follow-up.


Concordant inverse associations were observed for (changes) in physical activity and depressive symptoms. Physical activity did not predict depressive symptoms or low optimism.


Alpha Omega Trial; Physical activity; cardiovascular disease; depressive symptoms; dispositional optimism; mental well-being

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