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Owning a Dog Is Linked to Reduced Heart Risk

American Heart Association, the nation’s largest cardiovascular health organization has a new message for Americans: “owning a dog may protect you from heart disease.”

The new report reviewed dozens of studies, and over all it seemed clear that pet owners, especially those with dogs, the focus of most of the studies, were in better health than people without pets.

“Several studies showed that dogs decreased the body’s reaction to stress, with a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone release when a pet is present as opposed to when a pet is not present,” Dr. Levine said.
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.
After reviewing the evidence, the American Heart Association has concluded that dog ownership, in particular, may lower heart disease risk.