Why the crazy cat lady isn’t so crazy: 40% lower risk for stroke than her peers


By pH health care professionals

The doctor is in, and he’s furry, four-legged and eager to please. Yes, we’re talking about pets!

A recent study suggests having a pet in the family may be good for your health. Researchers looked at data for adults 50 and over, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1988 to 1994, and who reported having a pet.

They found that “generally healthy” women over the age of 50 were 40 percent less likely to die of a stroke if they had a pet. Additionally, cat ownership was associated with a lower stroke risk than dog ownership, the researchers noted. Cat ladies everywhere rejoice!

It also may be that cat owners have personalities that protect their hearts, rather than the cats themselves affecting heart health, one of the researchers speculated.

You would think it’d be the dog owners who reaped the best health benefits, with daily walks required by their furry friends, but it seems the owners in the survey didn’t walk their pups very often. Dog walking is a great way to be proactive about your heart health, so if you have a canine companion, make sure to get out for your daily walks together!

Dog walking may be one of the reasons why other studies have shown dog owners lower their risk for cardiovascular disease, lower their blood pressure, and are more likely to survive a heart attack.

According to the National Death Index, as of 2006, 11 of every 1,000 people without a pet died of cardiovascular disease, compared to about 7 of every 1,000 pet owners.

So whether you have a cat or a dog, there are certainly health benefits that can be enjoyed from adding a furry friend to your family.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.