Christopher C Charles
10 May 2013
The American Heart Association has released a statement acknowledging the benefits of pet ownership on cardiovascular health. The report, published in the AHA journal, Circulation, includes several studies demonstrating the positive effects of pet ownership on blood pressure, stress, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. While the results contained in the report are encouraging, additional resarch is needed to determine whether pet ownership can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Glenn N. Levine, chair of the committee that produced the report says, “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. Further research, including better quality
studies, is needed to more definitively answer this question.”
With the HABRI Foundation offering $300,000 in funding for studies examining the role animal interaction plays in mitigating cardiovascular risk factors and other health concerns, perhaps now is the perfect time to tackle these questions head on.
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