Having a pet dog may result in healthier heart, a study suggests
A recent study has revealed that owning a pet, primarily a dog, may help in reviving the cardiovascular health. The study was published in the journal ‘Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes’. Researchers examined the association of pet ownership specifically dog ownership with cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiovascular health.
The study looked at 1,769 subjects with no history of heart disease and scored them based on Life’s Simple 7 ideal health behaviours and factors, as outlined by the American Heart Association: body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood glucose, and total cholesterol.
Researchers then compared the cardiovascular health scores of pet owners overall to those who did not own pets. Then it compared dog owners to other pet owners and those who did not own pets.
“In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet, and blood sugar at an ideal level,” says Andrea Maugeri, a researcher with the International Clinical Research Center at St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno.
The study findings support the idea that people could adopt, rescue or purchase a pet as a potential strategy to improve their cardiovascular health as long as pet ownership led them to a more physically active lifestyle.
Owning a dog also has been linked to better mental health in other studies and less perception of social isolation, both risk factors for heart attacks, said Dr Lopez-Jimenez, a senior investigator of this study.
The study was performed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the International Clinic Research Center at St. Anne’s University Hospital, and the University of Catania. This research was supported by the National Program of Sustainability and the European Regional Development Fund.