Owning a pet may help maintain a healthy heart, especially if that pet is a dog, according to the first analysis of data from the Kardiozive Brno 2030 study. The study examines the association of pet ownership specifically dog ownership with cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiovascular health. The results are published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes.
The study first established baseline health and socio-economic information on more than 2,000 subjects in the city of Brno, Czech Republic, from January 2013 through Dec. 2014. Follow-up evaluations are schedule for five-year intervals until 2030. In the 2019 evaluation, the study look at 1,769 subjects with no history of heart disease and score them base on Life’s Simple 7 ideal health behaviors and factors; as outline by the American Heart Association; body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood glucose and total cholesterol.
Maintenance healthy heart
The study compare the cardiovascular health scores of pet owners; overall to those who did not own pets. Then it compare dog owners to other pet owners and those who did not own pets. In general, people who own any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet and blood sugar at ideal level. The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who own a dog; independent of their age, sex and education level.”
The study demonstrates an association between dog ownership and heart health; which is in line with the American Heart Association’s scientific statement on the benefits of owning a dog in terms of physical activity; engagement and reduction of cardiovascular disease risk. Dr. Maugeri says that the study findings support the idea that people could adopt; rescue or purchase a pet as a potential strategy to improve their cardiovascular health as long as pet ownership led them to a more physically active lifestyle.
Social isolation risk factors
Francisco Lopez Jimenez, M.D., chair of the Division of Preventive Cardiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester; says that having a dog may prompt owners to go out; move around and play with their dog regularly. Owning a dog also has been link to better mental health in other studies and less perception of social isolation both risk factors for heart attacks.
Dr. Lopez-Jimenez is a senior investigator of this study. Hence the study was perform in collaboration with Mayo Clinic; the International Clinic Research Center at St. Anne’s University Hospital, and the University of Catania. This research was support by the National Program of Sustainability and the European Regional Development Fund.