A number of studies show that owning a cat can help to prevent cardiovascular disease. Now, new evidence reported at the annual meeting of the American Stroke Association suggests that cat owners also have a lower risk of suffering a stroke.
The association reported on a 10-year study of men and women aged 30 to 75 who showed no evidence of cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the project.
Researchers found that those who did not own a cat, or never owned one, had a 40 percent higher risk of having a heart attack. Their risk of dying from other heart diseases, such as stroke, was 30 percent higher.
By comparison, other research found that taking cholesterol-lowering drugs is associated with a 29 percent decrease in heart attacks among people without chest pain.
Cat ownership was shown to reduce the risk of depression and stroke.
Not everyone has time to care for a feline friend. For those who do, doctors say a cat could ultimately improve their quality of life.