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Dog Ownership and Cardiovascular Health: Results from the Kardiovize 2030 Project

Maugeri A, Medina-Inojosa JR, Kunzova S, Barchitta M, Agodi A, Vinciguerra M, Lopez-Jimenez F. Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2019 Aug 23;3(3):268-275. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

In Arizona an automobile license can be obtained which says, “Pets Enrich Our Lives”. This article suggests that pet ownership may have health benefits. The authors studied 1769 subjects (aged from 25 to 64 years; 44.3% males) with no history of cardiovascular disease and compared cardiovascular health (CVH) scores with nonpet owners. Approximately 42% of subjects owned a pet: 24.3% owned a dog and 17.9% owned another animal. Pet owners, and specifically dog owners, were more likely to report physical activity, diet, and blood glucose at ideal level which resulted in higher CVH score than nonpet owners (P=0.006). Compared with owners of other pets, dog owners were more likely to report physical activity and diet at ideal level. The comparison of dog owners with non-dog owners yielded similar results. After adjustment for covariates, dog owners exhibited higher CVH scores than non-pet owners (P=0.005), other pet-owners (0.309; P=0.041), and non-dog owners (P=0.004). The authors conclude that dog owners were more likely to achieve recommended level of behavioral CVH metrics (physical activity and diet) than non-dog owners, which likely translates into better cardiovascular health.

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