Nicci Morris — If you have a furry best friend, a new study says there is a chance that you also have a healthier heart.
The American Journal of Cardiology conducted research that shows that for people with chronic diseases, having a pet increases the heart’s capability to adapt to stressful circumstances that can affect the body, such as a faster heartbeat during a tense moment.
According to the study, the research included 191 people. They were all diagnosed with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high cholesterol. The subjects had their hearts monitored for a full 24 hours. They were also broken up into groups depending on their pet-ownership status. The results found that people who owned pets had heart rates that changed more than people who didn’t own pets. This finding suggests their heart rates are more adaptable and better able to react to stimulation.
This isn’t the first time researchers have found a link between pet ownership and heart health. In 2008 a study showed cat owners had lower chance of dying from heart-related issues than people who have never owned a cat. It also showed that people who’ve never owned a cat before had a 40 percent greater chance of death from heart attack over a period of 20 years.
If you have been considering adopting a cat or a dog, these are great reasons to take the plunge into pet ownership. For more information on pet adoption, contact http://www.houstonspca.org, http://www.petfinder.com or other shelters in your area.