Saturday, 22 March 2008

Feline Roommates Decrease Stroke Risk

I was in the car yesterday when the following came up on our all news radio station: A recent study has shown that people with cats have a decreased risk of stress. Researchers say that individuals with cats were 40% less likely to have a stroke, likely the result of the calming effects of petting a cat (reduced anxiety and stress). Individuals who have had a cat but no longer own one (if you can call having a cat in your house owning the cat - I really think that my cats own me... but I digress) still show the protective benefit. Researchers caution that they do not know if the individuals in the study who owned cats were already at a lower risk of stroke or had a lower level of stress/anxiety - ie/ they are from a different population of people than the comparison group(s). This is the correlation doesn't equal causation clause which every good researcher emphasizes when reporting correlations to the general public (just because two things co-occur doesn't mean that one causes the other - I've heard of another study which showed that the more toasters a family had the more likely the family would have a teenage pregnancy...). I haven't read the article myself, so I take this report with caution but it has been on my mind for over 24 hours so I thought I'd share.

In case I don't post tomorrow: Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it (and happy long weekend to those who don't).

3 comments:

Maggie said...

Hobbes kept me up last night playing with a piece of paper on the floor... I am skeptical that he is reducing my stress level!

Then again it is awfully nice to be woken up by their little motor purrs!

Amy Lane said...

Excellent--finally, I'm able to claim I have something healthy in my house!

(And your comment meant the world to me--and, hey--bloggers back up and I can comment back:-)

emma said...

I didn't hear that news report but I have read other studdies that showed that pet owners, in general, lived longer and were happier than non-pet owners.
And, boy, thank goodness I only own one old toaster! My three daughters are safe now (lol!).