15 Feb 2012

Pet owners found to have healthier hearts

6:02 am on 15 February 2012

A Japanese study says pet owners with chronic diseases appear to have healthier hearts.

In findings published in the American Journal of Cardiology, the researchers who studied nearly 200 people with diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, found those with a pet had higher heart rate variability than those who did not.

That means their hearts respond better to the body's changing requirements, such as beating faster during stressful situations.

Reduced heart rate variability has been linked to a higher risk of dying from heart disease.