“At a scientific meeting this past fall of the Gerontological Society of America, a group of Oregon State University graduate students presented research that found that older dog owners have significantly lower levels of systolic blood pressure than people who don’t own dogs. Systolic blood pressure is the first number in a blood-pressure reading.
The research, not yet published or peer-reviewed, also concluded that exercise doesn’t entirely account for the boost in pet owners’ heart health.
“We were a bit surprised at physical activity not explaining the relationship” between pet ownership and better heart health, said Eric Cerino, a doctoral student in human development and family sciences at Oregon State and one of the researchers.”
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