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J Nutr Elder. 1996;15(3):15-31.

Pet ownership may be a factor in improved health of the elderly.


The familiar adage "pets are good for your health" is an interesting but largely untested theory. A new model was developed, based on pet ownership leads to better self care, to show possible associations between pet ownership with eating, exercise, nutritional status, and specific cardiovascular risk factors. Seniors aged sixty and above were solicited mainly at senior congregate meals program sites in north-central Colorado (n = 127) to participate in this cross-sectional, observational study. Statistical analyses of questionnaire, anthropometric, physiological, and biochemical data were performed. Dog owners walked significantly longer than non-owners (p < 0.05), and pet owners had significantly lower serum triglycerides than non-owners (p < 0.01). Results suggest that pets may be good for your health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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