Relationships between exercise capacity and anxiety, depression, and cognition in patients with heart failure

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Background:Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment are common in heart failure (HF) patients, but there are inconsistencies in the literature regarding their relationship and effects on exercise capacity.Objectives:The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between exercise capacity and anxiety, depression, and cognition in HF patients.Methods:This was a secondary analysis on the baseline data of the Italian subsample (n = 96) of HF patients enrolled in the HF-Wii study. Data was collected with the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment.Results:The HF patients walked an average of 222 (SD 114) meters on the 6MWT. Patients exhibited clinically elevated anxiety (48%), depression (49%), and severe cognitive impairment (48%). Depression was independently associated with the distance walked on the 6MWT.Conclusions:The results of this study reinforced the role of depression in relation to exercise capacity and call for considering strategies to reduce depressive symptoms to improve outcomes of HF patients.

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