May 9, 2013
Anyone wanting to live longer and cut their risk of suffering from heart disease might want to consider getting a pet.
The American Heart Association (AHA) issued a scientific statement on Thursday saying owning a pet may help to decrease a person’s risk of suffering from heart disease and is linked with lower levels of obesity, blood pressure and cholesterol.
“Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease,” Glenn N. Levine, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a statement.
A study of more than 5,200 adults, cited by the AHA, showed dog owners were more physically active than non-owners because they walk their pets. Other research has revealed the calming effects of pets, which are used in animal-assisted therapy programs.