Do you own a pet dog- chances are it may ward off CVD risk, improve heart health
Delhi: Keeping a dog as a pet may keep you away from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and improve cardiovascular health (CVH), suggests a recent study.
According to the study, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, except for smoking people who own dogs are more likely to achieve the recommended level of behavioural cardiovascular health metrics (physical activity and diet) as compared to people who do not own a dog.
An estimated 17 million people globally die of cardiovascular disease every year that accounts for 4 million. Primary prevention of CVD can be achieved through modification and early identification of behavioural risk factors including physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use, and adherence to medications for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and high blood pressure.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has listed seven ideal health patterns to promote, control, and estimate CVH. The components are -- BMI, healthy diet, smoking status, blood pressure, total cholesterol, blood glucose and physical activity. These can be computed for the calculation of CVH score, that helps in the identification at higher risk for CVD or with poor CVH.
Recent studies have shown the benefits of having a pet in improving lipid profiles, reducing blood pressure. Also, owning a pet is also known to increase physical activity compared to non-owners of dogs.
In 2013, a scientific statement from the AHA concluded that pet ownership — particularly dog ownership — is probably associated with decreased CVD risk.
To dig this further, Andrea Maugeri, International Clinical Research Center, St Anne's University Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic, and colleagues investigate the association of pet ownership, and specifically dog ownership, with CVD risk factors and CVH in the Kardiovize Brno 2030 study -- a randomly selected prospective cohort in Central Europe.
The study included 1,769 residents of Brno, in the Czech Republic who had no history of cardiovascular illness, and 42 percent of them owned pets. They were recruited from January 1, 2013, to December 19, 2014.
The researchers compared them on the seven measures of heart health by AHA as described above.
Also Read: Owning a Pet may Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Key findings include:
- Approximately 42% of subjects owned any type of 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 an ideal level, and smoking at a poor level, which resulted in higher CVH score than non-pet owners.
- Compared with owners of other pets, dog owners were more likely to report physical activity and diet at an 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 (β=0.342), other pet-owners (β=0.309), and non-dog owners (β=0.341).
Other factors may play a role as well. "Owning a dog increases the sense of well-being in general, decreases loneliness and decreases rates of depression," said Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. "All of these factors also relate to cardiovascular health."
The bottom line of the study is --> Owning a dog may improve cardiovascular health metrics translating into better heart health.
To read the complete study follow the link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2019.07.007