Cats Help Shield Owners From Heart Attack
Study finds 30% risk reduction when felines are in the home
By E.J. Mundell
THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Whether it's a frisky kitten or a tubby tabby, a cat at home could cut your heart attack risk by almost a third, a new study suggests.
The finding, from a 10-year study of more than 4,300 Americans, suggests that the stress relief pets provide humans is heart-healthy.
And dog lovers shouldn't feel left out: Although the study found no such benefit from "man's best friend," that's probably because there simply weren't enough dog owners in the study to draw firm conclusions, the researchers said.
"For years we have known that psychological stress and anxiety are related to cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks," noted study senior author Dr. Adnan Qureshi, executive director of the Minnesota Stroke Institute at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
According to Qureshi, the new research shows that "essentially there is a benefit in relieving those inciting factors from pets."
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