It has been proposed that pet ownership improves cardiovascular health. This study examines the relation of pet ownership with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, mean arterial pressure, and hypertension in a large sample of older men and women.
Participants were 1179 community-dwelling men (n = 498) and women (n = 681) age 50-95 years. Participants responded to a 1991-1992 mailed questionnaire ascertaining pet ownership, and they attended a 1992-1996 clinic visit at which systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures were measured and use of antihypertensive medication was validated. Pulse pressure was calculated as SBP minus DBP. Mean arterial pressure was calculated as (SBP+DBP)/2. Body mass index, waist-hip ratio, and information on other potential confounders were obtained.
Average age of participants was 70.4 +/- 10.8 years; 30.0% reported current pet ownership. Mean SBP was 137.5 +/- 21.4 mm Hg, and DBP was 76.1 +/- 9.3 mm Hg; 55.6% were hypertensive (SBP >or= 140, DBP >or= 90 or taking hypertension medication). Pet owners were younger and slightly more overweight and they exercised less than nonowners; owners were somewhat more likely to have diabetes and to use beta-blockers. In unadjusted analyses, pet owners had lower SBP, pulse pressure, and mean arterial pressure, and a reduced risk of hypertension (odds ratio = 0.62; 95% confidence interval = 0.49-0.80). However, after adjustment for age and other confounders, pet ownership was not associated with systolic or diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, mean arterial pressure or risk of hypertension.
Results suggest that pet ownership is not independently associated with blood pressure, vascular reactivity, or hypertension.
"An Australian study has shown that pet owners have higher diastolic blood pressure and higher BMI than non-owners; they are more likely to smoke, and have less education. But, contradictory results about blood pressure were reported from a study of persons older than 50 years in the US . This study showed that there is no correlation between pet ownership and blood pressure . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the work presented here was to explore differences between pet owners and non-pet-owners concerning aspects of health, physical/leisure activities, work and socio-demographics.
The study was based on nationally representative data from the Swedish population (n = 43,589). Associations between pet ownership and background variables were investigated using logistic regression analysis.
A total of 39,995 respondents were included in the analysis (non-pet-owners = 25,006; pet owners = 14,989). Pet ownership was associated with both positive and negative aspects of health, physical/leisure activities and socio-demographics. Pet owners had better general health but suffered more from mental health problems than non-pet-owners. Their leisure activities involved a greater interest in nature life and/or gardening than those of non-pet-owners. The logistic regression analysis showed that people who were self-employed, in the age range 35 to 49, of female sex, and suffering from pain in the head, neck and shoulders were more likely to own a pet than others. People physically active at a level sufficient to have a positive effect on their health more often owned a pet than people who were less active.
Pet owners differ from non-pet-owners in aspects of socio-demographics, health, physical/leisure activities and work situation. This study, based on a general regional population in Sweden, showed differences of both a positive and a negative kind between non-pet-owners and pet owners concerning aspects of health, physical and leisure activities, and work situation.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 09/2009; 38(1):53-63. DOI:10.1177/1403494809344358 · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This thesis presents three classes of mechanism that may explain reported associations between pet ownership and health benefits. The first suggests any association is noncausal. Studies 1-3 examine candidate factors to explain both health advantages and likelihood of pet ownership. Type A behaviour was hypothesised to be associated with higher risk of illness and lower likelihood of pet ownership. Hardiness was hypothesised to be associated with better health and increased likelihood of pet ownership. Neither hypothesis was supported. The second class of explanation suggests that pets indirectly effect health by acting as social facilitators of human-human interactions. Enhanced social contact may lead to health advantages. Studies 4-6 examine the robustness of the catalysis effect of Pets and its impact on owners' social networks. Whilst the catalysis effect was found to be robust in generating social contacts, these were superficial and not regarded as providing relationship functions likely to enhance health. The third class of explanation suggests pets have direct effects on health through the nature of the relationship with the owner, or through physiological effects such as reduced cardiovascular arousal to stress. Study 7 indicates that pets serve valuable supportive functions for normal children. Study 8 found that young people with autism demonstrate positive behaviours within their relationships with pets which they do not with people. Study 9 found the relationships between people with physical disabilities and their service dogs serve many supportive, as well as instrumental, functions and that this is associated with better self-perceived health. Studies 10 and 11 found no evidence that pet presence moderates cardiovascular reactivity to a laboratory stress task. Little evidence was found of an association between pet ownership and health advantages, although it is clear that pets can be significant and valued relationships for their owners.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet Therapy is an adjunctive therapy by taking advantage of human and animal interaction, activate the physiological and psychological mechanisms, initiate positive changes improving health in metabolism. In recent years, this interaction are in use to treat psychological and psychiatric disorders such as stress, depression, loneliness, pervasive developmental disorders affect negatively to human health. Furthermore, AAT has been increasingly used to improve quality of life, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, chronic illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. The aim of this paper is to identify AAT by reviewing human and animal interaction, evaluate how AAT has a scientific background from past to now. Also, we aim to give some information about the risks, institutional applications, some factors referring AAT's mechanism of action and chronic diseases, psychological and physical improvements provided with animal assisted therapies. The therapy results will be evaluated more advisable providing AAT is being applied with public health specialist, veterinarian, physician, psychologist, psychiatrist and veterinary public health experts who are monitor applications. Especially, the psychosomatic effects result from physical, emotional and play mechanism of action of HDT can be used for improving quality of life in individuals with chronic diseases. In Turkey, there is no any investigation which have been performed in this scientific field. It is quitely important to evaluate the benefits of this therapy accurately and to select various methods proper to diseases. Consequently, it is obvious that AAT will be considered by the healthcare services as a supportive therapy process for improving human health in Turkey and needs further studies.
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