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Cat and/or Dog Ownership, Cardiovascular Disease, and Obesity: A Systematic Review

By C. S. Barroso, K. C. Brown, D. Laubach, M. Souza, L. M. Daugherty, M. Dixson

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Abstract

Pet ownership, the most common human-animal interaction, is believed to bestow positive health benefits onto pet owners. However, there is limited research on substantiating these assertions. The aim of this review was to systematically identify, evaluate, and summarize primary research on the relationship between cat and/or dog ownership and cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and obesity to inform future research on pet ownership and chronic disease. How pet ownership was defined/measured, and identification of the chronic disease variables and health behaviors most often measured were emphasized. Two researchers independently searched PubMed and Web of Science, where One Health literature are mostly likely to be indexed, for peer-reviewed literature on pet ownership and CVD, T2D, and obesity. A review of 4541 titles and abstracts for relevance resulted in 34 manuscripts eligible for full-text review. Two researchers assessed each eligible manuscript and extracted data only from those that met the inclusion criteria (n = 14). Ten studies on CVD, four studies on obesity, and zero studies on T2D met the study criteria. The CVD and obesity variables varied and were not well described. The relationship between pet ownership and CVD and obesity varied (positive, negative, mixed effects, and no effect). Generalizability lacked across all studies: most studies were with Non-Hispanic White populations. Other areas of weakness were quality of study outcomes and instrument validity. Operationalization of pet ownership varied (from no verification to confirmed pet registration). Integration of the evidence-based influence of the human-animal connection through pet ownership on CVD and obesity may make prevention, mitigation, and treatment strategies more robust.

Publication Title Vet Sci
Volume 8
Issue 12
ISBN/ISSN 2306-7381
DOI 10.3390/vetsci8120333
Author Address College of Nursing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.Department of Public Health, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.Social Work Office of Research and Public Service, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.Libraries, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Analysis
  2. Cardiovascular diseases
  3. Cats
  4. obesity
  5. One Health
  6. open access
  7. Pet ownership
Badges
  1. open access