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Dogs help the people who own them maintain a healthier heart, a study finds

Dog's aren't just our best friends, they're also good for our health, new research suggests.

Posted: Aug 23, 2019 1:10 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2019 1:39 PM

Dog's aren't just our best friends, they're also good for our health, new research suggests.

A study published Friday in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings says that owning a pet, especially a dog, may help maintain a healthy heart -- in case you needed any more reason to head to your local animal shelter.

The study began in 2013 and 2014, when researchers gathered health and socioeconomic information on over 2,000 people in Brno, Czech Republic, and scheduled follow-up evaluations for every five years until 2030.

The latest was this year, in 2019, when researchers again looked at about 2,000 people with no history of heart disease. They scored the participants on the American Heart Association's list of seven ideal health behaviors and factors, also known as "Life's Simple 7": body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood glucose and total cholesterol.

The researchers compared the cardiovascular health scores of pet owners with those of petless people. In general, people who owned a pet were more physically active than those who did not, with healthier diets and blood sugar levels.

But then they compared dog owners with everyone else and found that no matter their age, sex or education level, they benefited the most in terms of cardiovascular health.

Take that, cat people.

The findings are consistent with research that has shown that dog ownership leads to more physical activity. Meanwhile, pet ownership in general reduces stress, betters our self-esteem and makes us more social.

Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, one of the lead researchers on the team, said what makes this study so significant is that it showed the benefits of having a dog go beyond just increased physical activity. The study included many factors that determined the health of the heart and arteries, like showing that dog-owners tend to also have a healthier diet than other pet-owners -- thus contributing to a better cardiovascular health.

It's "putting everything together and not just focused on a single factor," he told CNN.

But he also pointed out that the results may be skewed, simply because so many people own dogs. Of the 42 percent of subjects that owned any type of pet, 24 percent were owned dogs.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
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