Dog ownership contributes to better heart health
According to initial analyzes of a long-term study, owning a pet can help maintain a healthy heart for the owner, especially if the pet is a dog.
Dealing with dogs is always said to have a positive influence on the mood of the owners. But they are also good for health - especially for the heart. A study by Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota) and colleagues from the Czech Republic and Italy. "We found that those who own a pet, especially a dog, are healthier from a cardiovascular point of view," Dr. Lopez-Jimenez commented in a post.
Association of pet ownership and cardiovascular health
As explained in a release, the study examines the association of pet ownership - especially dog ownership - with risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular health. The current results were published in the medical journal "Mayo Clinic Proceedings".
From January 2013 to December 2014, the study produced basic health and socio-economic basic information on more than 2,000 subjects in the city of Brno (Czech Republic). The follow-up examinations are planned until 2030.
In the 2019 evaluation, 1,769 subjects without heart disease were examined and rated based on the seven factors that are essential for heart health, according to the American Heart Association: body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood sugar and total cholesterol .
The study compared the cardiovascular health ratings of pet owners to those who had no pets. Then dog owners were compared to other pet owners and those who had no pets.
Dog owners move more
"In general, people who owned a pet were more likely to be more physically active, to have better nutrition and blood sugar levels," said Dr. Andrea Maugeri, researcher at the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno and the University of Catania (Italy). "The greatest advantages of a pet were those who owned a dog, regardless of age, gender and level of education."
The study says the dog-heart health relationship is consistent with the American Heart Association's scientific opinion on the benefits of owning a dog in terms of physical activity, engagement, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Lopez-Jimenez referred to his experience with his own dog: “He tortures me until we go out - maybe for a short walk, maybe to throw balls at him. But I realize that everything I do with my dog implies physical activity. ”And exercise improves heart health by helping to maintain a healthy weight and control blood sugar.
According to Dr. Maugeri encourage the study results to adopt a pet as a potential strategy to improve cardiovascular health - but only as long as pet ownership leads to a more physically active lifestyle.
Other studies have also linked dog ownership to better mental health and less awareness of social isolation - both risk factors for heart attacks, Dr. Lopez-Jimenez. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic Minute: Why having a dog is heart-healthy, (accessed: August 24, 2019), Mayo Clinic
- Mayo Clinic: Your heart’s best friend: Dog ownership associated with better cardiovascular health, (accessed: 08/24/2019), Mayo Clinic
- Mayo Clinic Proceedings: The Human-Canine Bond: A Heart's Best Friend, (accessed: August 24, 2019), Mayo Clinic Proceedings