Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pets may help reduce your risk of heart disease

Date:
May 9, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Owning a pet, particularly a dog, could reduce your risk of heart disease. It is unclear whether owning a pet directly reduces risk. Despite the likely positive link, people shouldn't get a pet solely to reduce heart disease risk.

Having a pet might lower your risk of heart disease.
Credit: copyright American Heart Association

Having a pet might lower your risk of heart disease, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement.

The statement is published online in the association's journal Circulation.

"Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease," said Glenn N. Levine, M.D., professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and chair of the committee that wrote the statement after reviewing previous studies of the influence of pets.

Research shows that:

  • Pet ownership is probably associated with a reduction in heart disease risk factors and increased survival among patients. But the studies aren't definitive and do not necessarily prove that owning a pet directly causes a reduction in heart disease risk. "It may be simply that healthier people are the ones that have pets, not that having a pet actually leads to or causes reduction in cardiovascular risk," Levine said.
  • Dog ownership in particular may help reduce cardiovascular risk. People with dogs may engage in more physical activity because they walk them. In a study of more than 5,200 adults, dog owners engaged in more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity.
  • Owning pets may be associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a lower incidence of obesity.
  • Pets can have a positive effect on the body's reactions to stress.

"In essence, data suggest that there probably is an association between pet ownership and decreased cardiovascular risk," Levine said. "What's less clear is whether the act of adopting or acquiring a pet could lead to a reduction in cardiovascular risk in those with pre-existing disease. Further research, including better quality studies, is needed to more definitively answer this question."

Even with a likely link, people shouldn't adopt, rescue or buy a pet solely to reduce cardiovascular risk, Levine said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Glenn N. Levine, Karen Allen, Lynne T. Braun, Hayley E. Christian, Erika Friedmann, Kathryn A. Taubert, Sue Ann Thomas, Deborah L. Wells, and Richard A. Lange. Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation, May 9 2013 DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0b013e31829201e1

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Pets may help reduce your risk of heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509163902.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, May 9). Pets may help reduce your risk of heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509163902.htm
American Heart Association. "Pets may help reduce your risk of heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509163902.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins