Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dogs ease anxiety, improve health status of hospitalized heart failure patients

From the American Heart Association (tipped off my MedGadget):

Researchers discovered that a 12-minute visit with man’s best friend helped heart and lung function by lowering pressures, diminishing release of harmful hormones and decreasing anxiety among hospitalized heart failure patients. Benefits exceeded those that resulted from a visit with a human volunteer or from being left alone.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has been shown to reduce blood pressure in healthy and hypertensive patients. It reduces anxiety in hospitalized patients, too.

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