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Pet Ownership Associated With Improved Cardiovascular Health


Owning a pet can increase opportunities to get exercise, spend time outdoors, and socialize. A new study suggests that owning a pet, especially a dog, may also improve cardiovascular health.



Participants in the study included 1,769 people between the ages of 25 and 64 with no history of cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study. Participants were scored based on Life’s Simple 7 ideal health behaviors and factors which are body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood glucose and total cholesterol. Participants also reported whether they had any pets, and if so what type of pet.





The researchers compared pet owners to non-pet owners and found that pet owners were more lkely to be physically active, have a better diet, and better blood sugar levels. Pet owners also had higher cardiovascular health scores. When they looked just at pet owners, they found that participants who owned a dog had the highest cardiovascular health scores, and were more likely to report phsycial activity and diet at ideal levels.





The study was conducted by researchers from St. Anne’s University Hospital, Czech Republic. It was published online ahead of print on August 23, 2019 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes.


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