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Dogs May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Owning a dog may be good for your heart, the American Heart Association says in a new statement published in its journal Circulation.

After convening a panel of experts to review years of data on the health benefits of owning a pet, the organization found that man's best friend may protect you from heart disease.

“Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease,” said Glenn N. Levine, M.D., a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and chair of the committee that wrote the statement.

One reason could be that dog owners are more physically active because they walk their pets.  

Studies also show that owning pets could be tied to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and they can help buffer the body’s reactions to stress.

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