Prognostic value of exercise capacity among patients with treated depression: The Henry Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) Project

Amjad M. Ahmed, Waqas T. Qureshi, Sherif Sakr, Michael J. Blaha, Clinton A. Brawner, Jonathan K. Ehrman, Steven J. Keteyian, Mouaz H. Al-Mallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Exercise capacity is associated with survival in the general population. Whether this applies to patients with treated depression is not clear. Hypothesis: High exercise capacity remains associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality (ACM) and nonfatal myocardial infraction (MI) among patients with treated depression. Methods: We included 5128 patients on antidepressant medications who completed a clinically indicated exercise stress test between 1991 and 2009. Patients were followed for a median duration of 9.4 years for ACM and 4.5 years for MI. Exercise capacity was estimated in metabolic equivalents of tasks (METs). Cox proportional hazards regression models were used. Results: Patients with treated depression who achieved ≥12 METs (vs those achieving <6 METs) were younger (age 46 ± 9 vs 61 ± 12 years), more often male (60% vs 23%), less often black (10% vs 27%), and less likely to be hypertensive (51% vs 86%), have DM (9% vs 38%), or be obese (11% vs 36%) or dyslipidemic (45% vs 54%). In the fully adjusted Cox proportional hazard regression model, exercise capacity was associated with a lower ACM (HR per 1-MET increase in exercise capacity: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.79–0.85, P < 0.001) and nonfatal MI (HR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.87–0.97, P = 0.004). Conclusions: Exercise capacity had an inverse association with both ACM and nonfatal MI in patients with treated depression, independent of cardiovascular risk factors. These results highlight the potential impact of assessing exercise capacity to identify risk, as well as promoting an active lifestyle among treated depression patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-538
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • All-Cause Mortality
  • Depression and Antidepression Medications
  • Exercise Capacity
  • Nonfatal Myocardial Infarction
  • The Henry Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) Project

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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