Owning A Dog Leads To A Longer Life, Study Says

Pets bring joy to our lives. Need more proof than the gleeful smile on this child's face? A study from Indiana University found simply watching cat videos boosted energy and healthy positive emotions and decreased negati

A study released Tuesday suggests dog owners live longer than their canine-less counterparts, experiencing almost a one-third lower risk of dying from heart problems.

"But these studies suggest that adopting a dog may be as much of a service to your own health as the dog's", he said, according to NBC News.

"We've known this forever, that pets make our lives better, but to know that the sum of it translates to better cardiovascular health is very exciting for those of us who like dogs and work in cardiology", Kazi said in a phone interview.

The American Heart Association did some research and found dog owners live longer after a heart attack or stroke compared to patients without a dog. The respondents were between the ages of 40 and 85 who had a ischemic stroke or heart attack between 2001 and 2012.

Compared to people who did not own a dog, researchers found that for dog owners, the risk of death for heart attack patients living alone after hospitalization was 33 per cent lower, and 15 per cent lower for those living with a partner or child. For stroke patients who went home after discharge, the risk of death for patients was 27 percent lower in those with dogs and 12 percent lower in those who are with a partner or a child.

A pair of new reports found that dog owners have a lower risk of early death than people without canine companionship, particularly when it comes to dying from a heart attack or stroke.

"We know that social isolation is a strong risk factor for worse health outcomes and premature death".


Findings from a separate meta-analysis published in the same journal supported the study's results.

"There are studies suggesting that individuals who have dogs have a better cholesterol profile and lower blood pressure", said Kramer, who is a pet owner. For those who have already had a heart attack, the risk of dying dropped by 31%. Shelter leaders say adopting is a win-win because you're not only helping a dog in need, but also potentially prolonging your life.

"More research is needed to confirm a causal relationship and giving recommendations about prescribing dogs for prevention", Fall noted.

The investigators identified more than 181,000 heart attack victims, about 6% of whom owned a dog, and almost 155,000 stroke survivors, of whom 5% owned a dog.

Additionally, investigators observed a significant decrease in the risk of death associated with dog ownership in a cohort of 6 studies, but there was significant heterogeneity in the individual estimates of the magnitude of the association (I2=97.6%, P 0.001). Another suggested that owning a dog fed older English adults stay fit during inclement weather.

They also weren't skimpy when it came to case studies either. Our analyses did not account for confounders such as better fitness or an overall healthier lifestyle that could be associated with dog ownership.

Intramural funds from Mount Sinai Hospital funded the meta-analysis.

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