The 2013 American Heart Association Scientific Statement on pet ownership and cardiovascular risk suggested that dog ownership is probably associated with decreased cardiovascular risk. Several studies have been shown that pet ownership, particularly of dogs, is associated with increased physical activity levels, social support, and improved outcomes after a major cardiovascular event..
Pet owners were older, less likely to be women or widowed, and more likely to be white, more educated, tobacco users, and work more than 35 hours per week than non-owners (all p-values < 0.05). Pet owners had a higher hemoglobin, lower LDL cholesterol, and a lower prevalence of DM, SH, and stroke (all p-values < 0.05). After adjusting for potential confounders, pet ownership (either cat or dog ownership) was independently associated with a lower prevalence of SH (OR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.49 – 0.89; p = 0.01), but not HF, CAD, DM, or stroke, compared with non-owners.
In conclusions, using a large national database, we found that pet ownership is associated with a decreased prevalence of SH. Further longitudinal studies are needed to draw a conclusion on the protective effect of pet ownership in patients with cardiovascular disease.