Dog owners live longer and are more protected from heart attacks

Molly Lally

"While these non-randomized studies can not "prove" that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this", said Dr. Glenn Levine, chair of the writing group of the American Heart Association's scientific statement on pet ownership.

In the meta-analysis, Researchers reviewed patient data of over 3.8 million people taken from 10 separate studies for a composite meta-analysis study.

Kramer says the results are promising, but more research is needed to provide health benefits for having a dog. The reason could be due to an increase in physical activity and decrease in depression and loneliness among dog owners, which previous studies have confirmed. As any canine owner knows, a dog is a great motivator to get out of the house and go for a walk.

"The findings that people who owned dogs lived longer and their risk for cardiovascular death was also lower are somewhat expected", said Caroline Kramer, M.D. Ph.D., and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, in a statement. Such people are more likely to live longer after a cardiovascular accident than those who are in the same home with a partner or children.

Having a dog, it seems, is a big advantage for your health.


Dog owners in the study tended to have a "better outcome after a major cardiovascular event", the researchers found, although the study did not prove cause and effect. This is significantly more than the recommended 150 minutes per week for people.

It's plausible that such physical and mental health benefits are the pathway by which dog ownership makes a person live longer. It may be the case that being healthier and wealthier causes people to be more likely to acquire a dog.

Aloof, Kazi writes, the stability of the evidence to this level convinces him that "the affiliation between dog possession and improved survival is right, and is seemingly a minimal of partly causal". One of the larger studies included in the review controlled for a variety of socio-economic and demographic factors and found that the longevity effect of dog ownership remained.

Isolation and loneliness have been linked to poor heart health outcomes, Kazi said, and owning a dog appears to ease a person's solitude enough to have a real benefit.

There also had been several randomized controlled analysis on pet possession in neatly-liked, showing narrate benefits of proudly owning an animal. It might be possible, for instance, that doctors might someday prescribe ownership of a dog to certain vulnerable patients, based on a new evidence-based policy. After that time, the cricket-caring neighborhood showed predominant enhancements on measures of despair and cognitive ability, relative to the administration neighborhood.

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