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What impact do exercise and environment have on mental wellness for Canadians living with cardiometabolic disease?

Author: NB-IRDT Staff

Posted on Feb 17, 2023

Category: DataNB

For people living with a cardiometabolic condition such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, managing this illness can be a stressful experience on its own. Unfortunately, some may also find themselves experiencing increased mental health concerns such as depression or an anxiety disorder, which can lead to need for additional healthcare services and even hospitalization.

Many aspects of our daily lives can be physically and mentally beneficial in managing our cardiometabolic health, including regular physical activity. Where we live can affect how easy it is to become and stay physically active. However, little is known about successful interventions to improve exercise behaviours in neighbourhoods for people with an underlying chronic condition.

Researchers from NB-IRDT contributed to a recent study which included information from approximately 25,000 Canadians living with diabetes, hypertension or heart disease. This work draws attention to the interplay between neighbourhood designs, physical activity and potentially avoidable hospitalizations linked to mental wellness.

Looking at mental health hospitalizations over a five-year period, the research team found that those who were at least moderately active were half as likely to be hospitalised for a comorbid mental health problem compared to those who were inactive, regardless of where they lived. However, the study was unable to identify features of neighbourhoods that may favour active living.

What to learn more? Read the analysis for a full breakdown of the results.