To Your Health
May, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 05)
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Pets Ward Off Heart Disease

Good news for pet owners, particularly dog owners - you could be avoiding one of the major health issues of modern times - heart disease.

Numerous news outlets have been reporting the good news this week that a panel of experts reviewed years of data on the cardiovascular benefits of owning a dog, the conclusion was that pets did indeed played a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. The reasons are simple: many dog owners tend to go outside for walks more, they also tend to form closer bonds with their pets, which helped with lowering heart rate. Pets do have the ability to reduce stress levels in people.

According to the report, pet owners also tended to report greater amounts of physical activity, and modestly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some research showed that people who had pets of any kind were also more likely to survive heart attacks.

According to published reports of the study, one of the only randomized controlled studies included in the report, 48 stressed stockbrokers with hypertension were put on medication that lowered their blood pressure, and then researchers divided them into groups. Those in one group were told to adopt a dog or cat. Six months later, the researchers found that when the stockbrokers who had adopted pets were around their new companions, they were markedly calmer in the face of stressful events than the stockbrokers without pets.

If you have been thinking of getting a pet lately, this is a good incentive - it can lead to positive results in your health and can possibly even ward off heart disease if you and your pet become more active.