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Mental Health and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: What is the role of physical activity?
Dr Mark Hamer of UCL at ENHS Lecture Room, Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health, Tyndall Avenue, University of Bristol on 18th May 2011.

Mental health accounts for 20% of the disease burden in the European Area and globally.
·      This is put down to stress but Mark Hamer thinks there may be other causes.
§  It is thought to be linked to ageing

There are two available treatment options for mental health:
·      Anti-depressant drugs
·      CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

Depression is linked to heart disease
·      There is evidence that tricyclic and other anti-depressants can increase the risk of heart disease by 35%
·      There is poor scientific rigour in the drug trials carried out which is why there is much ambiguity

-          There is generally a 20% reduction in recurrence of depression treated with anti-depressants.

A slow gait while walking is shown to give a 2.5 times increase in the incidence of depression compared to those who walk with a fast gait.
·      This is compounded when age is a factor in the data differentiating between the over 70 and under 70 year old age groups

-          Depressed people have a 24% increase in the risk of death generally.

  1. c-reactive proteins in inflammation leading to cardiovascular problems
  2. Exercise training can lower and control inflammation

-          People ‘more dependant’ on exercise have larger mood disturbances following exercise withdrawal.
-          Allegedly mental health is linked to ‘sedentary behaviour’.
-          Mark Hamer says that there is data to show that lots of TV watching makes you “more vulnerable to mental health”.


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