The nation’s largest cardiovascular health organization has a new message for Americans: Owning a dog may protect you from heart disease.
The unusual message was contained in a scientific statement published on Thursday by the American Heart Association, which convened a panel of experts to review years of data on the cardiovascular benefits of owning a pet, reports the New York times: “The group concluded that owning a dog, in particular, was “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart disease.
“People who own dogs certainly have more reason to get outside and take walks, and studies show that most owners form such close bonds with their pets that being in their presence blunts the owners’ reactions to stress and lowers their heart rate, said Dr. Glenn N. Levine, the head of the committee that wrote the statement.
“But most of the evidence is observational, which makes it impossible to rule out the prospect that people who are healthier and more active in the first place are simply more likely to bring a dog or cat into their home. Continue reading “The dog keeps you healthy”
A study found being prone to distress at the age of seven was associated with a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease in later life.
Conversely children who were better at paying attention and staying focused had reduced heart risk when older, reports the BBC. “The US researchers said more work was needed to understand the link.
“Their study looked at 377 adults who had taken part in research as children. At seven they had undergone several tests to look at emotional behaviour.They compared the results from this with a commonly used risk score for cardiovascular disease of participants now in their early 40s.
“After controlling for other factors which might influence heart disease risk, they found that high levels of distress at age seven were associated with a 31% increased risk of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged women. Continue reading “Unhappy kids more at risk for heart disease”