Exercise and Escitalopram in the Treatment of Anxiety in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease: One Year Follow-Up of the UNWIND Randomized Clinical Trial.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Anxiety is common among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and is associated with a worse prognosis. UNWIND was a 12-week randomized clinical trial comparing exercise and escitalopram to placebo on measures of anxiety, depression, and CHD biomarkers. Primary results of the trial reported that treatment with escitalopram, but not exercise, was associated with significant reductions in anxiety and depression. At 1-year follow-up, participants completed the Hospital Anxiety-Depression Scale-Anxiety (HADS-A) along with the HADS-Depression (HADS-D), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and the Godin Leisure Time Exercise survey to assess physical activity. Results showed that those patients randomized to escitalopram had lower scores on the HADS-A compared to those randomized to exercise (P = 0.006) and had less depression compared to exercise on the HADS-D (P = 0.004) and BDI-II (P = 0.004). Participants randomized to exercise reported higher levels of physical activity at 1-year compared to those randomized to Placebo (P = 0.039). However, despite reporting being more physically active, those randomized to exercise did not have less anxiety or depression compared to placebo controls. Escitalopram appears to be a safe and effective treatment for anxiety; exercise has many health benefits, but does not appear to be effective in treating anxiety.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blumenthal, JA; Smith, PJ; Jiang, W; Hinderliter, A; Watkins, LL; Hoffman, BM; Kraus, WE; Mabe, S; Liao, L; Davidson, J; Sherwood, A

Published Date

  • September 22, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 10

PubMed ID

  • 36286272

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9604196

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2308-3425

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/jcdd9100320


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland