Unconditional love isn’t the only perk of pet ownership: A furry companion may also help temper a rise in blood pressure (BP) triggered by stress, according to a report in the October 2002 Hypertension. The study involved 48 stockbrokers with high BP who were willing to adopt a cat or dog. All received the BP-lowering drug lisinopril; half were told to acquire a pet. When researchers measured the participants’ BP at home in response to a mental stress trigger (such as math exercises), the pet group – whose animals roamed freely nearby – had a much smaller BP reaction to stress than those without pets.
(Source: HealthNews January 2002)