Your dog ❤s you!
Dog’s lives are often too short, but recent studies suggest that they might add years to the life of their owner. Two studies published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a scientific journal of the American Heart Association, suggest that when we interact with dogs, our body releases oxytocin, which can reduce levels of stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and provide other cardiovascular benefits.
The studies, Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event, and Dog Ownership and Survival, indicate that dog-ownership may be linked to a 21% reduction in the risk of death for people with heart disease. Owning a dog can lead to an increase in physical activity, improved physiological parameters, including a lowering of systolic blood pressure and resting heart rate, and improved mental well-being. These, in turn, lead to improved cardiovascular outcomes.
According to the American Heart Association, other studies have also shown an association between pet ownership and heart health. In a study of adults over 60, pet owners had significantly lower triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure than nonowners. Dog owners, in particular, were shown to engage in more physical activity and walking than nonowners and were more likely to achieve recommended levels of exercise. In addition to the physical benefits, the AHA suggests that pet ownership provides nonhuman social support that may have cardioprotective benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease.
Do you have a question about heart-health, Woodholme Cardiovascular Associates, or our services? Please feel free to contact us at 410-469-4000 or drop us a note.