Navigation Links
Cats Help Shield Owners From Heart Attack
Date:2/21/2008

Study finds 30% risk reduction when felines are in the home

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."

He was slated to present the findings Thursday at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in New Orleans.

The stress-cardiovascular disease link is well-documented in scientific literature, and the affection and pleasure pets give humans is a known stress-buster. In fact, one study presented in 2005 at an American Heart Association meeting found that a single 12-minute visit with a dog improved the heart and lung function of people with heart failure.

In the new study, Qureshi's team analyzed data on 4,435 Americans, aged 30 to 75, who took part in the federal government's second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study, which ran from 1976-1980. According to the data in the survey, 2,435 of the participants either owned a cat or had owned a cat in the past, while the remaining 2,000 had never done so.

Qureshi's team then tracked rates of death from all causes, including heart and stroke.

Cat owners "appeared to have a lower rate of dying from heart attacks" over 10 years of follow-up compared to feline-free folk, Qureshi said.

The magnitude of the effect -- a 30 percent reduction in heart attack risk -- "was a little bit surprising," he added. "We certainly expected an effect, because we thought that there was a biologically plausible mechanism at work. But the magnitude of the effect was hard to predict."

Qureshi -- proud owner of his own feline, Ninja -- stressed that dogs probably would bring people the same kind of benefit, but the numbers of dog owners in the study wasn't big enough to count statistically.

Kathie Cole, a clinical nurse at the UCLA Medical Center and School of Nursing and the lead author of the 2005 dog-and-heart-failure study, said she wasn't surprised by the Minnesota findings.

"I would be inclined to think that any animal that is perceived as meaningful to a person in a positive way would have health benefits," Cole said. She pointed to multiple studies that have found that animal companions "have a calming effect in regard to mental stressors."

Both researchers believe pet ownership should be perceived as a low-cost, low-risk medical intervention that can potentially save or extend lives, especially for the elderly. "The problem right now is that so many apartment buildings or nursing homes aren't allowing animals in," Cole said. "That's the problem I see from a community standpoint."

Qureshi agreed that cats, dogs or other pets may bring tangible medical benefits to owners.

"This opens a whole new avenue or intervention that we hadn't looked at before, one that can be made at the public level," he said. And unlike drugs or surgery, pet ownership "doesn't appear to have any risks to it," he added.

More information

There's information on responsible pet ownership at the American Veterinary Medical Association.



SOURCES: Adnan Quershi, M.D., executive director, Minnesota Stroke Initiative, and professor of neurology, neurosurgery and radiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Kathie Cole, RN, clinical nurse, UCLA Medical Center/School of Nursing, Los Angeles; presentation, Feb. 21, 2008, American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference 2008, New Orleans


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Appropriate timing in the use of breast shields in children can further reduce MDCT radiation dose
2. Seal Shield Ships New SILVER SEAL(TM) Washable, Antimicrobial Keyboard
3. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Expands Network of Hospitals to Serve Hoosier Healthwise Members
4. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Launches Integrated Medical-Dental Health Program
5. Heart-Shaped Light Displays on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Building Show Support for American Heart Month, National Wear Red Day
6. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Says Guaranteed Access Provisions of Insurance Reform Bills Protect Michigan Consumers Twice-Over
7. Examination by National Expert Shows Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigans Social Mission Contributions Totaled at Least $391 Million in 2007
8. Heart of Lancaster and Lancaster Regional Join Highmark Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Network
9. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies to Host Second Annual National Walk @ Lunch Day(SM) on April 30, 2008
10. Blue Shield of California Reaching Out to Members Affected by California Storms
11. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Funds Study Exploring Link between Heart Disease and Depression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cats Help Shield Owners From Heart Attack
(Date:2/11/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... The ... overpaying for IT services, what questions to ask your IT consultant before signing a ... access to your computer network. , “With companies relying heavily on e-mail and technology, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... President Obama’s ... Advantage organizations to deliver medical services via telehealth, estimated to generate more than ... for such language for many years. Although there is more to be ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Early this week, Team ... raise awareness of Nestlé KITKAT as the first global confectionery brand sourced from 100% ... farmers and the quality of their product, through activities that focus on better farming, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Western ... dental health services to the developmentally disabled in the Coachella Valley. , The ... a new facility at 71-949 Highway 111, Suite 100-B, in Rancho Mirage, California. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) within Healthcare, recently partnered with Heart City Health ... (VRI). , For nearly 23 years, Heart City Health Center has provided the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  The ... Nursing received an in-kind gift from ... a VeinViewer® Vision vein finder for the ... help students as they learn how to ... technology with traditional technique. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced that ... University of Florida (UF) have selected the Visage ... diagnostic viewer of the Emergent/Critical Care Imaging SIMulation ... Wisdom in Diagnostic Imaging Program (WIDI), a multi-faceted ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 Mast Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE ... for sickle cell disease and heart failure, today announced ... units at a price to the public of $0.275 ... the Company,s common stock and one warrant to purchase ... exercise price of $0.42 per share. The warrants are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: