After suffering a heart-related event– a dog really is man’s best friend,according to a recent study.

The study looked at 181,696 people between the ages of 40-85, who hadpreviously suffered a heart attack or stroke.

They looked at the association of dog ownership with other cardiovascularevents – such as repeat heart attacks or repeat strokes.

“What they found was that those dog owners actually had a lower risk of havingrecurrent cardiovascular events,” said Luke Laffin, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic,who did not take part in the study.

Results showed dog owners, who lived alone, had a 33 percent reduced risk ofdeath when compared with people who suffered a heart attack and lived alonewithout a dog.

Dr. Laffin said the relationship between dog ownership and heart health makessense.

Dogs typically have to go for walks, which gets people out the door andmoving, which is good for heart health.

Dogs also provide companionship, so it’s possible that dog owners have lessloneliness.

Previous studies have shown that depression and loneliness can increase therisk of heart disease.

But if you can’t own a dog – don’t worry.

Dr. Laffin said people can still mimic the benefits of owning one for the sakeof their heart health.

“They can go out for regular physical activity – maybe a walk, jog; evenclasses like yoga, swimming – those are all great activities that you don’tneed a pet to do,” he said.

Regardless if you’ve suffered a heart event, Dr. Laffin said getting morephysical activity, on a regimented schedule, can go a long way towards betterheart health and longevity.

Complete results of the study can be found in Circulation.

Source: US ABC News

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