Depression is commonly associated with worse outcomes for patients with heart disease and other conditions.
As many as 20 percent of people hospitalised with a heart attack report symptoms of depression, while patients with heart disease have three times the risk of developing depression compared to the general population, the study pointed out.
"Our findings highlight the link between worsening depression and cardiovascular risk and support routinely assessing depression in patients to determine heart disease risk. This research also demonstrates the positive effects of exercise for all patients, including those with depressive symptoms," said study author Arshed Quyyumi from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, US.
The researchers studied 965 people who were free of heart disease and who had no prior diagnosis of an affective, psychotic or anxiety disorder.
They used questionnaires to evaluate patients for depression and levels of physical activity and also looked several early indicators of heart disease.
The researchers found that depressive symptoms were more pronounced in people who were inactive.
The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.(N24India)