Exercise to Treat Depression in Individuals With Coronary Heart Disease (UPBEAT)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00302068
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 13, 2006
Results First Posted : January 24, 2013
Last Update Posted : June 29, 2015
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Duke University

Brief Summary:
Some individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD) suffer from depression and use antidepressant medications to reduce symptoms. However, preliminary research has shown that exercise may be a more effective way to treat depression in these individuals. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of exercise in reducing depression and improving heart function in individuals with CHD.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depression Heart Diseases Behavioral: Supervised Aerobic Exercise Drug: Sertraline Drug: Placebo Pill. Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is caused by a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. It is the leading cause of death in the United States. Recent evidence has suggested that depression is a significant risk factor for individuals with CHD and may place additional strain on the heart. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant medication, have been shown to be especially effective at reducing depression symptoms, particularly for individuals with CHD. However, many people fail to benefit from medication alone or they experience negative side effects. Therefore, a need exists to identify alternative approaches for treating depression in individuals with CHD. Preliminary research has shown that exercise may be an effective way to improve mood and treat depression. More research, however, is needed to confirm the benefits of exercise in individuals with CHD. The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of a supervised exercise program, antidepressant treatment, and placebo in reducing depression and improving heart function in individuals with CHD.

This 16-week study will enroll adults with a history of CHD and depression. Participants will be randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise program, antidepressant medication, or placebo. At study entry, standardized psychological questionnaires will be completed and depression levels and exercise tolerance will be assessed. Participants' heart function will be evaluated through measures of flow-mediated vasodilatation, inflammation, platelet function, baroreflex, and heart rate variability. Participants assigned to the exercise program will be required to engage in structured aerobic exercise. Participants assigned to antidepressant medication will receive sertraline, an SSRI or placebo. The treating psychiatrist will be blinded to pill condition and will use supportive measures to help manage medication side effects. Outcome assessors will be unaware of patients' treatment assignments, and only the research pharmacist will be aware of which patients are assigned to sertraline or to placebo.

At Week 16, participants will return to the clinic for repeat assessments of baseline measures. A follow-up evaluation will occur six months following the end of treatment, and participants' depression levels and clinical status will be assessed.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 101 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Understanding the Prognostic Benefits of Exercise and Anti-depressant Therapy (UPBEAT)
Study Start Date : July 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Drug Information available for: Sertraline

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1
Supervised aerobic exercise, three times per week for 16 weeks.
Behavioral: Supervised Aerobic Exercise
Supervised aerobic exercise, three times per week, for 16 weeks.

Active Comparator: 2
Sertraline (Zoloft), for 16 weeks.
Drug: Sertraline
Sertraline (Zoloft), daily, for 16 weeks.

Placebo Comparator: 3
Placebo control, for 16 weeks.
Drug: Placebo Pill.
Placebo pill, daily, for 16 weeks.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [ Time Frame: Measured at 16 weeks ]
    The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale ranges from 0 to 52, with lower scores reflecting lower levels of depression and higher scores greater severity of depression.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks ]
    HRV is the variation in the time interval between heart beats. ECG was recorded for 24 hours on a 3-channel digital compact ash Holter recorder. During the recording period, patients engaged in their normal patterns of activity. ECG data were downloaded and edited using the Pathfinder digital ambulatory ECG analyzer (DelMar Reynolds, lrvine, California) and HRV was estimated from the standard deviation of all normal R—R intervals (SDNN)

  2. Percent Change in Flow Mediated Dilation (FMD) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks ]
    Endothelial function assessed by flow mediated dilation (FMD). Brachial artery FMD was assessed following overnight fasting. Longitudinal B-mode ultrasound images of the brachial artery, 4-6 cm proximal to the antecubital crease, were obtained using an Aeuson (Mountain View, California) Aspen ultrasoundplatformwith an 11MHZ linear array transducer. lmages were obtained after 10 min of supine relaxation and during reactive hyperemia, induced following in ation of a forearm pneumatic occlusion cuff to supra-systolic pressure (~200 mmHg) for 5 minutes. FMD was defined as the maximum percent change inarterial diameter relative to restingbaseline from 10-120 sec post-deflation of the occlusion cuff.

  3. C-reactive Protein (CRP) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks ]
  4. Platelet Factor 4 [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks ]
  5. Baroreflex Sensitivity (BRS) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks ]
  6. Interleuken 6 (IL-6) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   35 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Persistent depressive symptoms that may include the following: depressed mood; diminished interest or pleasure in activities; change in appetite; insomnia or hypersomnia; psychomotor agitation or retardation; fatigue or loss of energy; feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt; diminished ability to think or concentrate; or recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideations
  • Documented history of coronary heart disease (i.e., a prior heart attack, coronary artery bypass graft, or greater than 75% stenosis in at least one coronary artery)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Experienced an acute heart attack or any revascularization procedure (i.e., CABG or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) within 60 days of study entry
  • Left ventricular ejection fraction <30% with labile ECG changes prior to testing
  • Currently using a pacemaker
  • Resting blood pressure greater than 160/100 mmHg
  • Left main disease >50%
  • Failure to meet our criteria for depression or achieve a score of ≥9 on the Beck Depression Inventory-II
  • Any other concurrent psychiatric intervention
  • Primary psychiatric diagnosis other than Major or Minor Depressive Episode
  • Primary diagnosis of the following psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, other psychotic disorder, dementia, current delirium, current obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Experienced psychotic symptoms during the current depressive episode
  • Current abuse or dependence on alcohol or other drugs
  • Acute suicide risk
  • Patients who, during the course of the study, would likely require treatment with additional psychotherapeutic agents
  • Significant medical conditions that would make exercise or sertraline use medically inadvisable (e.g., unstable angina, heart attack within the 3 months prior to study entry, musculoskeletal problems, or congestive heart failure)
  • Abnormal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level and glucose level greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL
  • Patients who would not be able to be randomized to either the drug (e.g., adverse cardiac events such as prolonged QT interval, allergic responses) or exercise (e.g., musculoskeletal problems, abnormal cardiac response to exercise, such as exercise-induced VT, abnormal blood pressure response, etc.)
  • Currently using medications that would make exercise or sertraline use medically inadvisable (e.g., clonidine, dicumarol, warfarin, anticonvulsants, or MAO inhibitors)
  • Current uncontrolled medical condition that could be causing the depressive symptoms (e.g., thyroid dysfunction, anemia)
  • Pregnant, planning to get pregnant during the study period, or lactating
  • Herbal supplements with purported mood effects (e.g., St. John's wort, valerian, gingko)
  • Current use of antidepressant medication
  • Currently participating in psychotherapy
  • Currently participating in regular aerobic exercise
  • Documented failure to respond to sertraline therapy

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00302068

United States, North Carolina
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27710
Sponsors and Collaborators
Duke University
Principal Investigator: James A. Blumenthal, PhD Duke University


Responsible Party: Duke University Identifier: NCT00302068     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Pro00011980
R01HL080664-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: March 13, 2006    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: January 24, 2013
Last Update Posted: June 29, 2015
Last Verified: May 2015

Keywords provided by Duke University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Heart Diseases
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Cardiovascular Diseases
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Serotonin Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs