Health Benefits of Cats

From the LA Times today:

By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer March 3, 2008

CAT owners are often fiercely loyal to their furry companions -- and such devotion may be rewarded in a surprising way: Owning a cat may lower one's risk of dying from a heart attack.

Non-cat owners appear to have a 40% higher risk of dying from myocardial infarction than those who don't have a cat, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Assn.'s International Stroke Conference last month in New Orleans.

Researchers examined the data of 4,435 people from the second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. (Dogs didn't factor into the findings because fewer participants owned them.)

"The big question is," says lead author Dr. Adnan Qureshi, executive director of the Minnesota Stroke Institute, "is this the direct effect of having a cat or a variable of people who own cats?"Adds Qureshi: "There isn't enough evidence to recommend [getting a cat] as a standard practice. But the flip side is that unlike other medical interventions, which have a risk and a cost associated with it, this has minimal risk and isn't as costly. There's not much harm to it."


Anonymous said...

"Non-cat owners appear to have a 40% higher risk of dying from myocardial infarction than those who don't have a cat"

Should that read "than those who have a cat"?

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. I feel as if I'm going to have a myocardial infraction every time one of my cats gets sick, gets kidney failure, ends up under somebody's tires, they're carried off by a coyote, shaken to death by the dog next door, or simply eaten by maggots. I got 19 more friggen heart attacks to go after I have to have #20 put to sleep tommorrow, now that she's straining to go pee and leaving teeny little pee drops and a ton of mucous discharge on all the furniture and bedding, and every clean place she can find. Poor abandoned thing is squatting down and leaving her messies every few feet or so, and I'm at 40% risk of dying from a friggen heart attack, I can't take this any more.

Well, I'm going to have to take it, cause after 72, I'm down to 20...rather, 19 after tommorrow.

Damn it all. I love my cats and I hate life right about now.