Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pets reducing heart disease risk: Get Darwin a stethoscope!


I ran across a recent article stating the benefits of pet ownership as it relates to reducing heart disease, and thought I would share. Granted, the risk factors that lupus patients have in regard to heart disease may not be scientifically impacted by the companionship of a pet, but there are so many benefits to owning these guys. I mean, take little Darwin - doesn't he look like he just makes everything better? 

Enjoy the snippets of the article I've included below, and click here for the entire article

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.

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. 

Glenn H. Levine, the chairman of the committee that wrote the statement published online in the journal Circulation, added that the benefits are clear on cutting the risk factors for heart disease. But the studies are not definitive or prove that owning a pet directly causes a reduction in heart disease risk.

"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," he said, adding more research is needed.

Research has shown that the loyalty and love pets display can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness in their owners and increase their sense of well-being and self-esteem.


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