Heart patients who exercise regularly and have better fitness are likely to have less cognitive impairment, says a study. Fitter patients have better memory, it adds. "The message for the patients with heart failure is to do exercises," said study author Ercole Vellone, Professor at University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy. The study analysed data from over 600 male patients, aged 67-71 years, with heart failure from six countries. During the research, the "Montreal Cognitive Assessment" test was used to measure cognitive function and exercise capacity was measured with a six-minute walk test.
The results showed the younger and better-educated heart failure patients with better fitness were significantly less likely to have cognitive impairment.
Two-thirds of the patients with heart failure had cognitive problems, showed the study, presented at the EuroHeartCare 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), held in Milan, Italy, from May 2 to May 4.
According to the study, cognitive dysfunction is a common problem in patients with heart failure with 67 per cent reporting at least mild impairment
"There is a misconception that patients with heart failure should not exercise. That is clearly not the case," Vellone said.
"Find an activity you enjoy and which you can do regularly. It could be walking, swimming or any other activities. There is good evidence that it will improve your health and memory, and make you feel better," Vellone said.