Pets may help reduce your risk of heart disease


WEBWIRE – Thursday, May 09, 2013

NewMediaWire via Webwire

Statement Highlights:

EMBARGOED UNTIL 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 9, 2013 
DALLAS, May 9, 2013 — Having a pet might lower your risk of heart disease, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement.

The statement is published online in the association’s journal Circulation.

“Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease” said Glenn N. Levine, M.D., professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and chair of the committee that wrote the statement after reviewing previous studies of the influence of pets.

Research shows that:

“In essence, data suggest that there probably is an association between pet ownership and decreased cardiovascular risk,” Levine said. “What’s less clear is whether the act of adopting or acquiring a pet could lead to a reduction in cardiovascular risk in those with pre-existing disease. Further research, including better quality studies, is needed to more definitively answer this question.”

Even with a likely link, people shouldn’t adopt, rescue or buy a pet solely to reduce cardiovascular risk, Levine said.

Statement co-writers are: Karen Allen, Ph.D.; Lynne T. Braun, Ph.D., C.N.P.; Hayley E. Christian, Ph.D.; Erika Friedmann, Ph.D.; Kathryn A. Taubert, Ph.D.; Sue Ann Thomas, R.N., Ph.D.; Deborah L. Wells, Ph.D.; and Richard A. Lange, M.D., M.B.A.Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

For the latest heart and stroke news, follow us on Twitter: @HeartNews.

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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association’s science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Additional resources, including multimedia, are available in the right column of this link:http://newsroom.heart.org/news/pets-may-help-reduce-your-risk-of-heart-disease?preview=227d3a0279f484904456c8a7c80ba612

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173
Darcy Spitz: (212) 878-5940;  darcy.spitz@heart.org
Julie Del Barto (broadcast): (214) 706-1330;  julie.delbarto@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)heart.org and strokeassociation.org



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Contact Information
Darcy Spitz: (212) 878-5940; Darcy.Spitz@heart.org
Julie Del Barto (broadcast): (214) 706-1330; Julie.DelBarto@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721) heart.org and strokeassociation.org
(1) 214-706-1173
ahamediarelations@heart.org


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