- A meta-analysis shows that exercise improves depressive symptoms in adults aged ≥60 y.
- The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled trials (n=138 received treatment; 129 control patients; age, ≥60 y).
- Funding: Study funded by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES).
- Exercise had a large and significant effect on depression (standardized mean difference, −0.90; 95% CI, −0.29 to −1.51), with a fail-safe number of 71 studies.
- Significant effects were found for mixed aerobic and anaerobic interventions, at moderate intensity, that were group-based, that utilized mixed supervised and unsupervised formats, and in patients without other clinical comorbidities.
- The meta-analysis included a small number of studies with a small overall sample size.
Why this matters
- Previous meta-analyses may have underestimated the benefits of exercise because of publication bias. The researchers advocate that exercise be considered as a routine component of the management of depression in older adults.