Dogs are said to fill the heart and home with love. A new study says they also fill you with health benefits.
Newsweek reports, a long-term European analysis on cardiovascular health risks with the intent to reduce or eliminate them by 2030, and discovered dog owners lived healthier lives.
Participants ranged from 25 to 64 years old and reported on their BMI, diet, exercise, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and whether or not they smoked. They then took an American Heart Association test.
The study found that of the 1,769 participants, all of which had no heart disease history, pet owners had superior cardiovascular scores over the non-pet owners.
Of the 42 percent of pet owners, 24 percent owned a dog. Researchers found that the dog owners explicitly had a more active lifestyle, were less stressed, and had a better overall diet and blood glucose level. The study did find, however, that dog owners were more likely to smoke.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, accounting for one in four deaths every year.
So, if you want to improve your heart health — add a dog to the family. And stop smoking.