A new study provides even more evidence that man's best friend is good for your health -- this time, the findings suggest heart-healthy benefits of pet ownership.
A new study in the American Journal of Cardiology shows that for people with chronic diseases, having a pet is linked with the heart's capability to adapt to any number of circumstances that can affect the body, such as a faster heartbeat during a stressful moment, Reuters reported.
The research included 191 people with a chronic condition like diabetes or high cholesterol, with a mean age of 69, whose heart rates were analyzed for a full day and night, according to the study. The participants were also broken up into groups depending on their pet-ownership status.
Reuters reported that the people who owned pets had heart rates that changed more than people who didn't own pets -- meaning the heart rates were more adaptable.
The finding falls into line with a number of other studies examining the effects of pet ownership on health. WebMD reported on a study in 2008 that showed cat owners had a lower risk of dying from a heart attack or other heart problems than people who've never owned a cat before.
That study, presented at a meeting of the American Stroke Association, showed that people who've never owned a cat before had a 40 percent increased risk of death from heart attack over a 20-year period, WebMD reported.
And just last year, researchers from Miami University and St. Louis University published a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showing that pets provide the same emotional benefits as human relationships.
For health lessons we should learn from pets, click through the slideshow: