With cardiovascular disease (CVD) being the leading cause of death[1] in the United States, and obesity and physical inactivity being at epidemic proportions, there is a great need for novel strategies and interventions to reduce the risk of CVD. Accordingly, the benefits of pet ownership have received considerable attention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health.

Some studies, but not all, of pet ownership and blood pressure have found an association between pet ownership and lower blood pressure.  In a small (n=32) cross-sectional study of adults ≥60 years of age, pet owners had significantly lower triglyceride levels than pet nonowners (109 versus 192 mg/dL; P<0.01).[2]

The recommendations reached were that pet ownership may be reasonable for reduction in CVD risk.

Learn More: Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk [Internet] American Heart Association. Available from: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0b013e31829201e1

[1] Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al.; American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics–2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published correction appears in Circulation. 2012;125:e1002]. Circulation. 2012; 125:e2–e220.

[2] Dembicki D, Anderson J. Pet ownership may be a factor in improved health of the elderly. J Nutr Elder. 1996; 15:15–31.