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Cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure linked to pet ownership

Pet owners may enjoy health benefits such as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels from walking a dog or stroking a cat, cardiologists say.
The American Heart Association has reviewed medical studies and concluded that pet owners may have a reduced risk of heart disease.
Walking a dog confers health benefits in terms of fitness and stress relief. Stuart and his dog Sandy go fishing in Vancouver.
"There was enough data to make us believe that there probably was some relationship between pet ownership and decreased cardiovascular risk," Dr. Glenn Levine, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in an interview this week.
In particular, dog ownership may help reduce cardiovascular risk, the group said.
People with dogs often get more physical activity by walking them, agreed Dr. Chi-Ming Chow, a cardiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and a former dog owner.
"Having a dog is actually quite useful for someone's cardiovascular fitness," said Chow. Read more here.





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